When I tell people that plastics are not toxic, they look at me with surprise and often try to show that they are. ["Plastics doesn't have a recycling problem, it has an image problem," Nov. 8, Page 6]. The story of fish eating our "poison" and us eating the fish and thus getting poisoned denies the basic principles of digestion of fish as well as us. No matter, they WANT to believe it.
I get the most resistance when I look at why people want plastics to be bad for us. They (we) need to deny natural laws (science) and believe impossibles for our own functional sanity in an uncertain and limited life, as a truly scientific world is too terrifying. We learn this as babies when nothing is explainable, and it's fertilized by heavy doses of make-believe as children. The more impossible the miracle, the more powerful the miracle-maker and the more comfortable the believer.
It's not going to go away, either. Our industry will continue to make plastics and put them to good use, and many companies will scramble and invest to look green to please the plastiphobes as long as people mean sales.
I sometimes think of the story of The Emperor's New Clothes and wonder what happened to the little boy who said he isn't wearing anything at all! The answer: Nothing, as nobody believed him.
El Cerrito, Calif.