According to everything but the calendar, it's summer. And even the calendar is getting in line with the Northern Hemisphere's state of seasonal mind next week.
Which means its time to celebrate plastic.
What? Your schedule doesn't say anything about plastic holidays? That's just because plastics are unofficially built into everything. After all, what's the Fourth of July without a picnic — with all those salads and drinks kept cool in a rotomolded Igloo cooler — and drinks served from red plastic cups?
Or how about watching the Toronto Blue Jays on Canada Day, with the players wearing an increasing amount of plastic protective gear, from helmets to shin guards.
Summer is when water guns, in all their soaking glory, come out in full force. I don't know about you, but as someone with four older brothers, I'm really glad that the Super Soaker and their like weren't around when I was a kid. I don't know if I ever would've gotten dry.
There are expanded foam pool noodles, and swimming floaties to keep kids safe at the pool, sprinklers and hoses and water slides — both the high end plastic ones at water parks and ones made of plastic film for back yards.
According to my Facebook feed, by the way, summer is either the time when you should totally teach your kid to drink out of a hose, or you should never ever teach your kid to drink out of a hose. I forget which, but I'm sure I'll get plenty of reminders all season long.
Thanks to entrepreneurs who were once kids themselves, there are also both improvements to classic summer toys, like mold maker Wayne Sikorcin and the Tie-Not, which makes it easier to fill water balloons, and a return of some classics.
This summer, NSI International Inc. has reintroduced the Super Elastic Bubble Plastic, which means your kids can make their own plastic bubbles. And hopefully pop them outside, where they'll make less of a mess.
After all, who wants to spend the summer cleaning. It's time to play. With plastic.