Plastic monster, myth or reality

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Plastic. Everywhere I look there is plastic. Plastic bottles, plastic table cloths, plastic plates, plastic chairs, plastic spoons, plastic forks, plastic tables, plastic shoes, and on and on and on.

I wonder if the inventor of plastic ever imagined what a monster he/she was creating.

Plastic seems harmless enough. It’s easy to clean, resists breaking, is light-weight, and can be make into any shape desired. And oh, it can last virtually forever.

Which is the biggest problem of plastic. It seems that creating things out of material that lasts forever may not be such a good idea after all.

But when it comes to environmental lore, how do we separate fact from fiction? Which stories are true, and which have been constructed to push an agenda forward.

Take for example the following story about the world’s dependence on plastic:

Somewhere out there, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there is a place where the water swirling clockwise meets water swirling counterclockwise, and a vortex is formed. This vortex has acted as a natural vacuum cleaner for the ocean, pulling in bits and pieces of plastic to this one location. The accumulation is said to cover an area the size of Texas.

My first thought is:

Texas! Couldn’t it at least be a smaller state, like Rhode Island, or maybe Connecticut? And who, pray tell, is going to take on the gargantuan task of emptying the trash out of the vacuum? I can just hear the echoes across the world of “It’s not my mess”.

But then I begin to analyze. Who says this plastic Texas exists? Do they have an agenda they are trying to push? Has any reasonably unbiased group studied this?

So now I am reserving judgement. The report comes from a group that is not known for being unbiased.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the story is untrue, it just means that I cannot yet accept it as fact.

What do you think?