Across the table sat Polly, bent over and crumpled. “Think you got it tough? I was a shapely young thing with dreams of the big time - bursting full of an alluring, exciting, bubbly beverage. But I was stuffed with water, plain water,” Polly Ethylene–Ba’Tel sniffled. “Then some lady actually paid money for my plain old water and gave me to her kid. He took a couple sips, dumped the rest and squished me.”
“Yada, yada, yada; I’ve heard it all before,” Mike Roplastic cut in. “Someday ya’ll going to look just like me and a gazillion other guys. Twenty years ago I was a cheap toy at the bottom of a cereal box. Got played with a couple times then was lost in the backyard, chewed on by critters and ended up in the groundwater. A pump sucked me out, and before I knew it me and a couple of my buddies got poured into you, Polly. Yup, I’m a microscopic fragment in one of the droplets left inside you.”
Sty, Polly and Mike continued grousing. Soon they’d be cleared off and thrown out. Polly hoped for a new assignment through a recycling program, but there were no guarantees. Sty was destined to be smooshed in a landfill for the next several hundred years. And who knows where Mike will show up next, in pancake syrup, your bloodstream, or in a fish fillet destined to be part of someone’s dinner?
They continued swapping tales like the fact that half of all plastic ever manufactured has been made in the last 15 years. And, there’s enough plastic dumped into the oceans to fill FIVE garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world!
“What ARE these humans going to do about this plastic mess?” Polly pondered. “Because this is their only home. It’s where they’re forever… Earthbound.” (More next time!)