Drastic Times Call For Plastic Measures

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recycling photosThis column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose: in our backyards, playgrounds and parks!  Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.

I’ve been a mild environmentalist, the kind of person who at parties wears regular cowhide shoes and steers the conversation gently to the plight of the sea otters in California. That is, I was a mild environmentalist —  until this week.

The Washington Post published several articles about the bull of “BPA-free” plastics that were supposedly the healthy alternative to the BPA-full baby bottles that I used when my kids were young and other consumer goods (Don’t panic but, for instance, the breast pump tubing that I used, and now plastic wrap that I use daily to wrap my kids’ sandwiches).

The BPA alternative, creatively titled BPS, is actually much worse than BPACanadian researchers say. Isn’t that ironic? Like a Wes Anderson movie?

Ha ha ha ha, I laughed. Until I put my head in my arms and wept.

In the “Don’t Panic“-style of the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the Post later published this (helpful?) list: How To Avoid Products with Toxic Bisphenol-S. It totally made me panic. No cans.

How does one avoid all hard plastic packaging and resins? Garbage bags? Plastic wrap? They’re even recommending you not touch receipts.  All of my Costco food comes in plastique. The article continues, “Since companies are under no obligation to tell consumers what chemicals are used in the manufacture of their product, many health experts say the best thing to do is avoid contact with household plastics altogether.”

Let me just repeat that end-times last line, and put in caps, AVOID CONTACT WITH HOUSEHOLD PLASTICS ALTOGETHER.

Now, if this proves not just fear-mongering journalism, I’m going have to change my ways. I’m going to be drinking homemade kombucha from a Mason jar and wearing a hemp sack while mumbling about AI, and Elon Musk who just donated $10M to “keep AI from turning evil.”

Plastics are my entire life. I work at a mostly-plastic computer station, feed my family on Indian take-away from clamshells and styrofoam, and I like the eerie scent of new carpet.

My social go-to is no longer the sublime wonder of whales. It’s been replaced with, “Should we really be allowed as a species to colonize Mars if this — plasticize — is what we do better than anyone else in the universe?”

 

 

 



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