Shameless self promotion. Sort of.

A talented young gentleman from San Francisco State University contacted me out of the blue with a proposition to film me talking about what I'm always yammering on about anyway, so what's a girl to do?

I was his third choice.

No matter.

FYI, the camera adds a good ten pounds.

Actually YouTube adds 15.  Not that I give that sort of thing a second thought.

So thank you Mr. Philip Houston from SFSU, I hope you earned a decent grade for this effort. I certainly enjoyed having someone following me around with a camera all day, and I definitely think you did a swell job - Best of luck to you!

Puberty Day

...or something like that.  A certain person I know of the teenage variety, recently attended an off-site, multi-school "Peer Summit". They talked about vaginas, oral sex, and STD's, which is of course fantastic. What I wasn't prepared for, was THIS:

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 10.34.02 PM.png

GROSS, right?!?

These flimsy water bottles of indeterminate plastic makeup, were given as swag to the Peer Summit attendees. 

Gee, (huge eye-roll) thanks.

Dumb cheap thing had already leaked all over said person's backpack. 

Looked on the bottom for the non-existent recycling symbol, which, while dubious in and of itself, tugs at a darker suspicion of what really happens with all that plastic in our recycling bins...

 

It certainly is satisfying having a bin dedicated to taking all of our bottles, cans, papers, and plastics "away".  

Away from where we are. 

Makes you feel like you're doing your part.

Where it goes, and what happens with it after it is emptied from our recycling bins is of course more complicated. One aspect of this involves something called "China's Green Fence" which was enacted in 2013. Newsflash, China is facing serious pollution problems, and this "Green Fence" has been an effort  for the Chinese to cut down on the volume of contaminated post-consumer plastics being shipped (away from us) to their ports.  In a nutshell; our recyclable plastics have traditionally been bundled and shipped overseas to be sold as scrap - most often to China. But now that China is restricting their imports of plastic scrap (the ugly fall-out from our throw-away culture), it's causing exporters (like us) to scramble for new channels to funnel our plastic waste (hello Malaysia and Vietnam!).

 

It's complicated, and I won't try to explain it because I don't understand it well enough to do a proper job, but I do know that it's not a neat and tidy loop from manufacturer to consumer to recycler to makers of new plastic stuff (like the clever recycling symbol implies). 

 

Statistics on how much plastic is ultimately "recycled" varies, but keep in mind those numbers refer to the amount of plastic we are able to recover to sell as scrap, not the amount of plastic that in the end is sorted and shredded into flake and then re-molded into new products. So let's take those recycling numbers with a grain of salt, because those low numbers are even lower.

Case in point:  EPA website states that "Only 9% of total plastic waste generated in 2012 was recovered for recycling."

9% recovered for recycling, not 9% recycled into new products.

I don't know - I've typed more words than I intended here trying to make the point that I don't think we should be feeling so virtuous about putting plastics in our recycling bins. 

The holidays are a great time to look at our plastic consumption with fresh and discerning eyes. From the gift wrap to the gift itself. 

Hmm. Maybe I'll throw together a gift guide just to get the juices flowing. I certainly haven't done any shopping yet, so this can be my two-birds/one-stone effort. 






Santa Barbara. Loved you then...

...love you still

...always have

...always will

Stunning that when you first step from the bike path into the sand, you're swallowed up by the beauty of the place.

But if you're me, you cut that whole romantic moment short, and cast your gaze downward. Down where this stuff lurks tangled in the seaweed washed up on shore, and scattered around to be practically camouflaged, half buried in the sand.

I trawled this collection in one hour in a fairly straight - like tipsy straight - path along the bands of seaweed.

I came across a few kindred spirits along the way. A sweet Japanese man who upon observing what I was up to, gathered some pieces of styrofoam and bottle caps and brought them to me - no common language necessary thank you very much.

And this fine person you see here?

She had her own two bags of trash from the very same beach, and informed me that she had gathered just as much the day before.

I found more "fresh" plastic that had been accidentally left behind on the beach - (sand toys, cigarette butts, styrofoam, straws...) than I did pieces that had been washed back onto shore (mostly pieces wrapped up within the seaweed, more bottle caps, cap liners, broken pieces of plastic...).  What I didn't find was one stretch of seaweed that was plastic free.

Outside of strictly limiting the use and production of traditional plastics - like STRICTLY, this is a conundrum with no end. Even the best intentioned among us will accidentally let loose some manner of plastic here and there - How can we NOT, when everything is either made of, or packaged with plastic?  It's almost literally everywhere.

Until I get it banned from the world forever, I think the best we can do is fastidiously contain the pieces that pass through our day to day lives - like it's a hazardous material - because it is.

Lock

That

Crap

DOWN.

Ashtrays & Gamma Rays

I had an opportunity to visit one of my favorite ashtrays this past weekend. Sorry, I mean beaches.

And by opportunity, I mean funeral.

Did your 94 year old grandfather have a doormat like this one?

No?  Well, I guess there's no accounting for taste.

This particular doormat is very close to a beautiful stretch of beach down in Malibu. 

 Long View

Long View

 Close Up

Close Up

Between errands, I convinced my mother to give me 20 minutes at said beach to, well, do whatever it is that I do. I hastily arranged this collection on a towel back at my hotel room - thought it might  be in poor taste to drag my sandy bags of trash to the services. Nevermind that we could have used a censor, or a bleeping machine during the eulogies, and I'll skip over the one about how he may or may not have had a hand in a friend spending the better part of a year in jail, as well as the retelling of a few of my grandfather's unapologetically racist quips by the staff at Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica (nicest guys) - but don't worry, they were the best-intentioned kind of racist stories. Sigh. At any rate, I didn't dare taint the day with my own personal garbage. 

You know, respect.

So, I dedicate this one to you Malibu Bob, thanks for the gamma rays. RIP



Not In Marin

After my last post about Bioplastics NOT being composted in Marin, I was asked by a friend "What about at Whole Foods, they compost the compostable forks and cups, right?"

I fact checked this with Marin Sanitary, and in person at Whole Foods (truly the nicest people at Whole Foods) - and no, they do not compost bioplastics. The ONLY material composted from Whole Foods is the pre-consumer food waste (from all of the food prep).  The bioplastics (as well as any food waste thrown "away") go to landfill.

I have yet to find a company (and I've been researching) in Marin that is able to compost the bioplastics, or that is contracted with a facility that can haul it away to be composted elsewhere.

ALL Bioplastics or Compostable Plastics in Marin County are landfilled, oceanfilled or creekfilled.

For the life of me, I can't see why we even allow it here.  At least with plastics (and you KNOW how I feel about plastics), they can IN THEORY be recycled. I know most of us put our plastic in our recycling bins, but the reality about how much of it is truly recycled (downcycled if we're being technical) is another story - and not a happy one sorry to say.

I feel bioplastics should be taken out of circulation in Marin, since we cannot and will not include them in our composting system (because we want our compost to be usable for food crops, not just landscaping, as is the compost that is produced in bioplastic-friendly San Francisco). What's the point of introducing a material that can neither be composted or recycled?  Bioplastics are actually INCREASING our solid waste, as well as contributing additional plastics to our creeks and the bay.

So dang it all, I started a petition.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/433/280/881/remove-compostable-plastics-from-circulation-in-marin-county/

It's for residents of Marin County, but could be a starting point for the curious among us to look into what is happening with the "Compostable" Plastics in YOUR community. And please, do tell.

 

 

 

 

Fliers

I'm getting a little grass-rooty.

Yesterday, I dove headlong into fliers.

Check it out, I posted like... ... twenty of these.

Because it is so rare (never) that I meet someone who knows that these seemingly "green" plastics aren't being composted here in Marin. Unless you know for certain that your city (San Francisco for example) is composting these cups/straws/utensils, they're likely not - they're ending up in landfills, creeks, and oceans like everything else. Oh, and in case anyone is under the impression that they just "break down" if they end up in the creek or ocean... nope - they're wreaking havoc like regular plastic.

And I know we've been over this and over this, but just a quick reminder that nothing composts in landfills - just waste piled upon waste, over and over and over, hundreds of times a day, smooshing out all of the air and creating a big gross bummer of anaerobic sadness.

The impetus for this effort is my deep held belief that "had I known" (all this plastic stuff), I'd have changed my plastic consumption ages ago - but I didn't know. So if one of my hokey fliers plants a seed of interest in just one person, and that person changes one plastic habit, then I've done a good thing - a seemingly insignificant thing in the grand scheme of things, but still, a good thing.

So yeah, fliers.

But that's just the start - it's going to be fliers, then the kind with the paper tabs you rip off, then I'll be dipping a toe into the kind of guerrilla "informing" that will probably get me arrested for civil disobedience.

Oh yeah.

 



...and he is us.

Yeah he is.

 Cartoonist Walt Kelly's Poster commemorating the first Earth Day

Cartoonist Walt Kelly's Poster commemorating the first Earth Day

I posted a link on Facebook (don't judge) to the article "Global warming releases microplastic legacy frozen in Arctic Sea ice" (authored by Professor Rachel W. Obbard, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College) about the trillion plus pieces of plastic that are estimated to release into the sea over the next decade via the global warming ice melt.  Trillion is the low-ball estimate by the way.

                         Researcher collecting Arctic ice core samples

                        Researcher collecting Arctic ice core samples

 Findings from Arctic ice core samples

Findings from Arctic ice core samples

If you're wondering how plastic got into Arctic sea ice (I was) - Professor Obbard explains it like this: "When sea ice forms it scavenges and concentrates particulates from the water column, which then become trapped until the ice melts...Arctic sea ice from remote locations contains concentrations of microplastics at least two 
orders of magnitude greater than those that have been previously reported in highly 
contaminated surface waters, such as those of the Pacific Gyre. Our findings indicate that microplastics have accumulated far from population centers and that polar sea ice represents a major historic global sink of man-made particulates.."
  

Here, Professor Obbard explains the ice core sample findings:   "It was during examination of this sample that we discovered 24 brightly colored particles in addition to sediment and diatoms. Ten were pieces of plastic (7 identified with > 70% confidence) and 14 were pieces of rayon...The abundance of microplastics was substantial, ranging from 38 to 234 particles per cubic meter of ice...the microplastic concentrations we found are at least two orders of magnitude greater than those reported in Atlantic waters north of Scotland or in waters of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre."

Back to my point about posting this on Facebook, I had people stopping me out in the real world to say that they can't stop thinking about it - I must say there is some comfort in losing sleep as part of a team. We could be the "3:am Holy Shitters" - as in a group that can collectively angst in the middle of the night exclaiming "HOLY SHIT what have we done?!"

But for the rest of the people, the "That's so terrible, people shouldn't pollute'rs" - I don't want to say the apathetic per se, but the people that don't see a personal connection between the gyres and the arctic plastic and themselves - To THOSE PEOPLE, I quote Walt Kelly "We have met the enemy and he is US."

US as in YOU and ME.

The good-hearted, hard-working, well-meaning people that inadvertently leave behind this kind of plastic EVERY SINGLE DAY in our parks and on our streets. It falls to the ground as we get in and out of our cars. We ply our children with the stuff (stickers, balloons, glitter, trinkets...) until it quite literally falls from their pockets and lunchboxes and backpacks like dandruff - plastic is the dandruff of our convenience addicted society.

If you look on my "Picking Up The Pieces" page, it illustrates how much plastic I find (in one hour's time) every couple of days - THE PROBLEM IS US. 

If we actually cared - like cared with our actual human hearts, we would...

 Not buy ridonculous plastic crazy straws because we want our child's birthday to have a theme.

Not buy ridonculous plastic crazy straws because we want our child's birthday to have a theme.

 We'd shun laser cut plastic confetti - it's a seriously stupid use of plastic - Oh, water balloons are out too. Quit your whining, they kill animals.

We'd shun laser cut plastic confetti - it's a seriously stupid use of plastic - Oh, water balloons are out too. Quit your whining, they kill animals.

 I shouldn't even have to type this, but we'd NEVER ever use or buy styrofoam again - how is it still a thing?!

I shouldn't even have to type this, but we'd NEVER ever use or buy styrofoam again - how is it still a thing?!

 We'd immediately stop giving our kids those weird baby food pouches with cake decorator tops - I have no idea how they work, but they're D-U-M-B.

We'd immediately stop giving our kids those weird baby food pouches with cake decorator tops - I have no idea how they work, but they're D-U-M-B.

 And we'd never buy ziploc plastic pouches - Never ever. Are you taking your snacks aboard a leaky boat? No? Then you don't need to space wrap your food. Put it in a wax or paper bag like a normal person and get on with it.   Okay, this ziploc in particular is KILLING ME.  Irony much?  

And we'd never buy ziploc plastic pouches - Never ever. Are you taking your snacks aboard a leaky boat? No? Then you don't need to space wrap your food. Put it in a wax or paper bag like a normal person and get on with it.   Okay, this ziploc in particular is KILLING ME.  Irony much?  

 Oh and THESE - I found the paper pieces first and thought "Wow, look at that, someone bought paper cut confetti, that's pretty cool."  But no, then I found the idiotic foam puffy stickers that were attached to the paper - found them in the gutter. There is no need for these, they're an insult to frogs and butterfly's everywhere.  Foam is French for SUCKS SO STUPID MUCH I CAN'T EVEN STAND IT.

Oh and THESE - I found the paper pieces first and thought "Wow, look at that, someone bought paper cut confetti, that's pretty cool."  But no, then I found the idiotic foam puffy stickers that were attached to the paper - found them in the gutter. There is no need for these, they're an insult to frogs and butterfly's everywhere.  Foam is French for SUCKS SO STUPID MUCH I CAN'T EVEN STAND IT.

 And we'd NEVER buy another glow stick again - There is no excuse for a glow stick - if you say "rave", I'll throw up.  Oh, and fan the moronic decorator pencils - They're ugly, and they're shrink wrapped in plastic, so every time you sharpen one of these beauties, you're creating tinier curls of plastic.

And we'd NEVER buy another glow stick again - There is no excuse for a glow stick - if you say "rave", I'll throw up.

Oh, and fan the moronic decorator pencils - They're ugly, and they're shrink wrapped in plastic, so every time you sharpen one of these beauties, you're creating tinier curls of plastic.

I'll stop there, not because I'm done berating dumb uses of the dumbest material, but because I don't believe anyone has read this far, and I need to get ready for the meeting of the 3:am Holy Shitters - I'll have my phone by my bed Deborah.  

None.

That's precisely how much NEW water will be generated in the next million-jillion years.

All the water that exists in earth's atmosphere is all that ever was, and all that will ever be.


So, as I've been collecting all those lowly discarded and forgotten water bottles, and simultaneously learning about the stupefyingly low rates of plastics "downcycling" (can't fairly call it recycling when it isn't possible to make a new plastic bottle out of an old plastic bottle) - I'm increasingly aware of the seemingly small amounts of water droplets that are in every single one of these plastic bottles. 

Nevermind that all those once pristine droplets of water would now likely test positive for little things like estrogenic activity and phthalates (particularly after exposure to sunlight and warm temperatures while stored in a polyethylene terephthalate (plastic) bottle) - What I'm grappling with here, is that the majority of those water droplets are being taken out of the water equation. Permanently.

For the first time in the history of ever, water is being taken out of the water system. 

Oh humans.

Hey, let's math!

The U.S. consumes 50 billion plastic water bottles annually.

According to the Container Recycling Institute, roughly 86% of plastic water bottles in the United States go to landfill each year.

Looking at several of my collected plastic water bottles, let's be conservative and say that each one has 40 drops of water still clinging to the sides (I easily count 20 generous "drops" in the small section of a water bottle pictured above).

86% of 50 billion = 43 billion (plastic water bottles going to landfill annually)

43 billion x 40 drops of water = 1,720,000,000,000 (1 trillion, 720 billion) drops of water

1 gallon = 75,708.24 drops

This means that every year, more than 22 million gallons of water get locked within these bottles, and buried beneath tons upon tons of garbage, where it will eventually be sealed in an anaerobic tomb that is the modern day landfill, for the rest of time.

22 million gallons, or 33 olympic sized swimming pools worth of fresh water,

At the barest MINIMUM

Permanently lost to toxic landfill tombs every year.

IN THE UNITED STATES ALONE.

Gobsmacked.


 these were the water bottles (some of them we're almost full of water, that got me thinking about fresh water trapped in landfills)

these were the water bottles (some of them we're almost full of water, that got me thinking about fresh water trapped in landfills)





The REAL Resource Board

As in, a panel of Reasonable Citizens to Review Moronic Requests for Planetary Resources. (RCRMRPR)

Okay, first up today is a gentleman with a landscaping business. Sir, kindly state your request for resources.

Landscaper:  "I'd like to print a flyer on colored paper..."

I don't suppose we have a problem with that sir, you may proceed. Next!

Landscaper: "Wait! I'd like to take that flyer, and then seal it in a clear plastic bag along with two rocks to weigh it down so the wind doesn't blow it away."

Oh.

You want to take biodegradable paper, along with two rocks that have taken eons to form, seal those three items in a clear plastic bag that will last for all time, and then drive around and throw them out of your car window in the general direction of local driveways?

Landscaper: "Yes."

I see. What will happen with most of these marketing-bags containing rocks and paper?

Landscaper: "Well, most of them will be thrown away, but a few will result in some business leads for my company. So, may I have please have the resources for this marketing campaign?"

No. Don't be an idiot, this is a terrible use of resources. What kind of lunatic seals paper and rocks into forever-lasting plastic bags, most of which will head to a poisonous landfill that will eventually be "sealed" forever? (minus the toxic liquid contents that may or may not leak into groundwater tables when and if the impermeable layers of the landfill give way over time).

NO, print your dang flyer and put it in the person's mailbox like everybody else, you don't get ANY plastic, and for heaven's sake use your head, don't take the rocks out of the natural cycle pictured on the left, and lock them into the toxic unnatural tomb on the right. Duh.

NEXT! 

 Plastic collected on a recent dog walk in my neighborhood - seeing these two plastic landscaper bags on an empty lot prompted this post.

Plastic collected on a recent dog walk in my neighborhood - seeing these two plastic landscaper bags on an empty lot prompted this post.

We are in receipt...

Dear Fishes of the Sea,

We are in receipt of your most recent letter. As usual, we appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns regarding what you allege to be a "huge amount of plastic in the ocean". At this time we would like to request that you remain civil in future communications, whilst refraining from hyperbole. Saying it is a "huge amount" could upset the human public. For the most part, it won't, because not that many people are paying attention to it, but hypothetically, humans could be disturbed if forced to visualize say, how much plastic enters the oceans every fifteen seconds.

 Exhibit at Zurich's Museum of Design depicting the estimated 3 tons of plastic that enters the ocean every 15 seconds

Exhibit at Zurich's Museum of Design depicting the estimated 3 tons of plastic that enters the ocean every 15 seconds

See? "Huge" sounds and looks disturbing.

We concede that this amount of plastic waste is "unsightly", but when it's underwater, we can't see it. To be frank, this is the price society pays for convenience - for progress. Director of Zurich's Museum of Design, Christian Brändle calls this "the Legacy of Our Consumer Society". 

But to your specific point about the laser-cut plastic confetti, I have made note of your repeated complaints per this item. I can see how it might cause intestinal discomfort, and eventually a miserable starvation if ingested, so no disrespect, but it very clearly says "Happy Birthday", I'm just not understanding why you guys are still mistaking this for food. And not for nothing, it was a kid's birthday, I don't expect you to understand, but these are very important milestones for humans - you should have seen this kids face when they scattered all that plastic confetti around the picnic table! Actually, the kid didn't really notice it because the table was covered with presents all wrapped up with curly ribbon (don't start) and funny little plastic lizards (you can see them in the photo below, actually you can probably see them where you are too - they're cute, right?) At any rate, I will recommend that needless plastic pollution is included on the agenda of the next Meeting of Sincerely Urgent Things that move at the pre-global-warming-glacial-pace, again because clearly I have nothing better to do with my time.

But don't worry, look how fast we moved on the whole plastic bag ban. There are currently 132 cities and counties around the United States with plastic bag ban legislation (you're welcome). According to the National League of Cities, where the number of municipal governments (cities) in the United States comes in at 19,429, that means that just under 1% (.6% if we're being technical) of cities have bag ban legislation. I know, it's unreal. Just goes to show what you can do when you put your mind to it.

Let's keep the dialog open, I'm here to help.

Sincerely,

Human Race

 Plastic (including laser cut birthday confetti and plastic lizards) collected during 1 hour dog walk at Memorial Park in San Anselmo

Plastic (including laser cut birthday confetti and plastic lizards) collected during 1 hour dog walk at Memorial Park in San Anselmo



Earth Rent

What's an "Egg Drop"?

Well, to quote the folks at 2014eggdrop.com: "It is the most exciting version of the traditional Easter Egg Hunt you can find. Tens of thousands of plastic eggs, filled with candy, will be dropped from a helicopter onto a grass field."  Oh, super.

  Here's a shot from an Egg Drop in Lake Highland, Texas. 

Here's a shot from an Egg Drop in Lake Highland, Texas. 

Agghhhh, I'm going to sound like such a party pooper here, but big surprise; I'm a party pooper.  Dropping thousands of plastic, candy filled eggs from a HELICOPTER?  Between stunts like these, and another genius marketing event known as a "balloon release", I must take a moment to take stock of what we as a people of earth do in the name of celebration.

We're the worst.

Even though they litter in opposite directions, Egg Drops and Balloon Releases don't cancel each other out, I checked.

I keep coming back to what feels to me like a legitimate question: What right does a person or company have to voluntarily cause great harm, arguably permanent harm, to the environment, to OUR environment? To our land, our oceans, our animals, our food supply?

I can't wrap my head around it. We know for a fact that plastic never goes "away", once it's chemically blended and formed, it's here forever - from sandwich bags to straws, beach buckets to plastic Easter eggs, like forever-forever.  So why are we allowed to make disposable stuff out of it? Disposable plastics should be obscenely expensive. Call it the "Oh, you want a disposable plastic fork? Okay, but you're required to pay for the space it will take up after you use it for a whole twenty minutes" tax.   Let's see, that's the cost of the petroleum based fork, so $5.00 for that, and another $25.00 of earth-rent for the spot in the ocean where it will continue to float around for decades after you're dead. And honestly, that's a bargain - we'll be generous and only charge you for 100 years worth of earth-rent - that's a mere .25 cents a year. Oh, and we have to add on the "Just in Case" fee - the one for just in case your stupid fork ends up in the stomach of an albatross or a whale, contributing to the animals painful and untimely death.  At $30 plus bucks a pop, I don't think I'd be finding many forks lying around.

Oh!  This is my 1 hour plastic-trawl-haul from a local park a few days after Easter - No Helicopter Egg drop here, but it was these broken egg-shards I found on the field that got me thinking about the absurdity of how plasticized modern day celebrations have become.

 

 

 

 

I Get You, Twine-String-Mom

I really do.

When my kids were young - balloons-for-birthday-parties-young, I would go into the party store with my own spool of string, shunning the gaudy, plastic "curly ribbon" variety they would have used to attach to my bright bundle of balloons. I say attach, because I see more clips attached to balloons these days, which according to Party City, for less than three cents a piece, allow you to "Seal balloons in seconds — no more fumbling with small knots in hard-to-manipulate material." PHEW, another problem I didn't know I had = solved by plastic. 

But no, not this mom, not the mom that tied her own damn balloons with her own earthy twine, she and old-me were cut from the same well-intentioned, burlap cloth. 

What old-me, and twine-mom had in common, was the belief that balloons (often called biodegradable latex) would biodegrade, and therefore cause no harm. Attach one of those to a piece of twine and you're basically hugging the planet, except it's the opposite of that.

In reality, those burst pieces of latex are commonly mistaken for food and ingested by marine animals. Like plastic, these pieces cannot be digested and end up contributing to the ingestee's miserable starvation.  Balloons with string/ribbon (twine OR plastic) also have the dubious capacity to entangle/strangle wildlife. 

Then there's the whole issue of helium depletion. I rather cluelessly have spent most of my life not knowing it is a finite, and scientifically critical, resource. Had I known, I wouldn't have so ignorantly inhaled it for cheap laughs, and I would certainly have found a better way to visually embellish the passing of another 365 days of my children's lives, had I known

Now I know, and with the helium colored glasses off, balloons make me cringe (yes, even water balloons).

The good people at "Balloons Blow" do great work in their efforts to educate the masses on the topic of balloons and the dangerous litter they create, as well as to reach out to organizers of Balloon Releases (those are a real thing) to educate and encourage the various marketing departments of these churches, schools, event organizers, to choose an alternative form of publicity, preferably one that doesn't cause widespread harm.

 http://balloonsblow.org/

 

One and Done

I'm seeing a shift in the plastic I trawl on my walks.

Warm weather parallels a sharp uptick in straws, single use disposable cups, party balloons, goody bags full of cheap plastic trinkets, and of course, water bottles.

 The Take & Toss "reusable"  - making us feel a little better about disposable plastics by making them future-disposable.

The Take & Toss "reusable"  - making us feel a little better about disposable plastics by making them future-disposable.

Loads of cheap "eco" refillable bottles too - like the red sippy cup and the big green Gatorade one on the right. I find a lot of these, and put them on the picnic benches on the off-chance they might be reclaimed. It's far more likely they're thrown "away" since they probably cost the person next to nothing to begin with - Why go out of your way to return to look for something with no sentimental or monetary value, when it's easier to just get another one?

Therein is one of the big contributing factors to the plastic problem - The stuff is essentially worthless - no one is fretting over where any of these "lost" items are...One and done, only not really...at all.



One last thing -

It's rare that I have a laugh out loud moment on my plastic trawls, so to the kid that did this to the spork:

Thank you.

(my sentiments exactly)