I dream of whacking every plastic toy that has been brought into our house since my son was born four years ago. My fantasy includes a brown packing box, the Goodwill and a shopping expedition to The Toy Space Inc., an eco-friendly, family-owned store that sells wooden toys. My son will buy educational hand puppets and grow up to be an acclaimed actor. Or a best-selling author, telling Vanity Fair that he got his start making up stories for Peter and Patty puppet. Second thoughts sour my fantasy as I mentally scan the contents of our house. The meat we buy is wrapped in plastic. So are the mushrooms, milk, cereal, bread and sparkling water. My toothbrush is plastic. I think the bumper on our Dodge Caravan is plastic. I decide to try anyway. With everything going green these days, I should be able to make it up as I go along. As it turns out, even organic produce is wrapped in plastic and a good, plastic-free water bottle is hard to find.Yes, that bumper is probably plastic. Take a closer look at the car, and your house, your computer, your plumbing, your office. You can pretend if you like, but unless you move to a log cabin without electricity (insulated cords -- remember?), you're probably going to have quite a bit of plastic in your life. But I doubt that will stop us from seeing more newspapers and TV stations tackling this story idea again this year.
Yet another life 'without' plastic
The Toronto Star is the latest newspaper to assign a reporter to the task of trying to live a week without plastic. Once again, the reporter discovers that it's really difficult to buy food at a modern supermarket without any plastic packaging. Once again, the reporter also fails to note that the assignment is basically pretend, because there's no real effort to live without any plastics. The focus here is pretty much on packaging. And why do food companies use plastic instead of other materials? There's no effort to find out -- just a general plastics-are-bad attitude. Star feature writer Francine Kopun starts the story by saying that living without plastic is a fantasy of hers:
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