I get a kick out of the plastics-related articles on The Onion's Web site. There's a new one today, in the lead story spot, "'How Bad For The Environment Can Throwing Away One Plastic Bottle Be?' 30 Million People Wonder" This story doesn't really aim its satire at the plastics industry. The target is the public, specifically people who don't make the effort to recycle PET water bottles.
According to the inner monologue of millions upon millions of citizens, while not necessarily ideal, throwing away one empty bottle probably wouldn't make that much of a difference, and could even be forgiven, considering how long they had been carrying it around with them, the time that could be saved by just tossing it out right here, and the fact that they had bicycled to work once last July. In addition, pretty much the entire states of Missouri and New Mexico calmly reassured themselves Monday that they definitely knew better than to do something like this, but admitted that hey, nobody is perfect, and at least they weren't still using those horrible aerosol cans, or just throwing garbage directly on the ground. All agreed that disposing of what would eventually amount to 50 tons of thermoplastic polymer resin wasn't the end of the world. "It's not like I don't care, because I do, and most of the time I don't even buy bottled water," thought Missouri school teacher Heather Delamere, the 450,000th caring and progressive individual to have done so that morning, and the 850,000th to have purchased the environmentally damaging vessel due to being thirsty, in a huge rush, and away from home. "It's really not worth beating myself up over."It's evident that someone at The Onion knows a little bit about plastics -- or at least they think plastics are funny enough to merit attention. Remember the tongue-in-cheek story last year about the paper being sold to a Chinese injection molder? Reminding readers that they should recycle PET is a good thing, and using humor might be a very effective way to get people to pay attention. Keep up the good work, Onion staffers.