I keep reading articles of plastics in the ocean and all the hype surrounding this and the manufacturers of plastic products. I truly believe this is a problem that does need to be taken care of. However, I don't understand why it comes back to the manufacturers. Yes, I believe we can break new ground with more biodegradable materials, but let us actually look at the real problem here. Litter!
When I was growing up, I remember traveling down the road in the back seat of our family car and throwing a gum wrapper out the window. Then I remember the car abruptly pulling over and my mother scolding me harshly and kicking me out of the car to go pick up some litter out of the ditch. This was a life lesson that sticks with me today and a very good one. This is something that has been passed down to my children as well, but there is something else I see in our society today, "People don't care like they used to or were never told it is wrong to litter."
I also remember all of the "don't litter" campaigns and commercials on TV, this is something you don't see anymore. Where are those signs along the road that state what the fine is when you get caught for littering? I don't see them anymore. We have created a society that doesn't believe littering is a problem. I've been sitting at red lights and see a window come down and complete fast food sacks come out of the vehicle and I've had heated discussions with people over this practice. It makes me cringe to drive down highways and look in the ditches and see just how much litter people throw out of their vehicles.
Our state and local governments need to crack down on littering first and foremost. If the authorities would enforce the litter laws that are on the books and dull out the hefty fines that go with them, this would create a revenue to start enforcing and advertising this once again.
I get so frustrated every time I mow my ditch, only to find more litter sitting on the fresh cut grass the very next morning … every time! One would think that today's earth loving millennials would really be pushing this subject matter and organize the clean the ditches or adopt a highway program again. I'm truly hoping they do. I also remember seeing prisoners gathering litter in ditches in the 80s, these days are gone. I can go on and on about how welfare recipients should have to do something to get this free money, such as picking up ditches/litter.
Is the plastics industry approaching this subject with the government?
This isn't so much a plastics problem, as it is a people and their frame of mind problem. Take care of litter first and foremost.