Beware of the Plastics

Saturday, December 23, 2017

There's much ~wisdom to be gained from Mean Girls -- the rules of feminism, non-existent limits, the basics of the "girl world" -- I could go on. I've also seen Damien's advice to Cady on the cafeteria demographics in a different light.

Beware of the Plastics.

Aside from the Plastics being fake, they are toxic, they make bad choices (cousins or first cousins?), and they're fabulous but evil. Perhaps the worst thing about the Plastics is that everybody pretty much worshipped the ground they walked on. At the end of the movie (spoiler alert!), we see a new generation of Plastics.

Similar to plastic in the real world, they are toxic, oftentimes bad choices, and look pretty but are most often than not evil. I'm sure it'll take several generations to outgrow being Plastic, like how it'll take several years to decompose plastic.

I mentioned in a previous post that it takes about 800 years for plastic to decompose. I remember sitting in high school chemistry class, learning about the half-life of carbon, which is what plastic is made of, and I couldn't believe my ears when the teacher said how long it takes a plastic bag to decompose. It was so ridiculous; I thought she was joking.

A few weeks ago, I was cleaning out my room and came across stuff that used to be in vogue about 20 years ago. Old slum books and Lisa Frank school merch were a little withered, but the plastic toys were perfectly in tact, as if they had been manufactured yesterday. I was a little freaked out at how new they looked, considering the age.

I'm not (yet) well-versed in how stuff decompose, biodegrade, or oxidize, but it's easy to see that time doesn't kill strong plastic. What's difficult to see though is what happens to plastic after we've thrown them into the garbage bin and forgotten about their existence. If exposed to the sun, they will most likely break down into smaller bits, which are easily swept into the soil or the sea, and then either poison the earth or are consumed by marine life. How sad it is that 80% of the garbage in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is plastic. I'm 99.99% sure that I must have contributed to that island of garbage. I'm sure this is not new information to you, but if it is, I'm sorry (not sorry) for being a bearer of bad news. What a world we live in, right?

After having attempted to live greener, I can't say yet that I've gone completely zero waste and plastic-free. I am terribly guilty of eating bags of chips with single-use plastics, or purchasing medicine covered in foil and plastic. I am, however, taking steps and refusing and reducing whenever possible, whether it's biodegradable or not. I recently received my first metal straw. I carry it wherever I go since it's light and goes almost unnoticed in my purse. I don't really use straws, but now I can have guilt-free buko and milkshakes! To date, I must have saved at least 15 straws.

If there are any environmentalists, scientists, or anyone more knowledgeable about the aforementioned topics, do share your light with us. In the meantime, have a Wasted holiday, everyone! Merry Christmas!

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