Posted by: David McKay | June 20, 2010

Keeping up with the plastic

I feel like I need to regularly say something.  Anything.

I have been collecting plastic in the far right bottom cupboard in my kitchen.

I had to buy a new battery for my smoke detector — it came in a cardboard and plastic package.  That piece of plastic is now in that cupboard along with a lot of other pieces of plastic.  But I needed a new battery.  Is there a better way to package a 9 volt battery?  Do I think anybody in the 9 volt battery packaging business actually gives a shit what the guy at the Dollar General in down and out Barre, Vermont thinks about the packaging of a 9 volt battery that he only purchases once in a blue moon?  I doubt that they do.

“I don’t need a bag,” I now say automatically.

I work in a restaurant.  The bartenders are beginning to realize I do not want plastic in my drink.

“No plastic,” I now say automatically.

Why not?

The plastic straw that is so thoughtlessly put in  your drink amounts to what?  What’s the point?  Why?

Why not.

I am not sure, exactly, how it has come to this.  This thing I have with plastic.  But it has.  We are living an absurd lifestyle.  And for what?

I have seen that the planet we live on needs some assistance from the highly sentient beings that reside on it.  That would be me.  And you.  And mine.  And yours.  Us.

Rethink.  Refuse.  Reduce.  Reuse.

Responsibility is not convenient — it’s necessary.



  1. I’ve been doing a project this year trying to create less than 100 gallons of garbage throughout the whole year… Let me tell you, when you see the mountain of un-recyclable plastic it really makes you stop and take stock.

    Thanks for your blog and your efforts… and hey… what about rechargeable batteries? They probably still come in a plastic clam shell, but at least you only have to buy them once!

  2. Yes. Keep saying something, anything. Because it keeps people (like me) thinking.

    I went to Rite-aid last week for a box of bandaids, and was distracted by the kids as I was checking out. I got almost out to the sidewalk when I realized I was holding a tiny plastic bag in my hand. I went back to the counter, and gave it back to the check out girl.

    I went to Shaws this weekend, for the first time in a long time, and David, I won’t lie to you, I bought a whole lotta single use plastic. Mostly because it wasn’t possible to avoid, if I wanted to go home with the groceries I had come for. But, you know, I was thinking about you, and single use plastic, and how there has to be a better answer, the whole time.

    So yeah, keep talking about it.

  3. I’ve been collecting plastic, too. And I’ve really been cutting back on bringing it into my life, but it still seeps in. As Elsa said, almost everything in the stores comes in a layer of plastic…and was probably wrapped in plastic to get to the store where it was bought. I want to get really frustrated and blame it on the manufacturers and wish that they would hurry up and stop mass-producing all of this plastic that gets used once and forever poisons our world. I want to shout and wake up our leaders and tell them that they need to do a better job of protecting our world and not letting money rule, as it always does. I want to know why there is no place for me to take this pile of plastic that I’ve been gathering where I will feel ok about the fact that I’ve gathered it in the first place. I want to cry out that it shouldn’t be this way, so out-of-hand, so silly, so crazy… did we let it get this way? And then I read your blog and it gives me hope! Because I know that you and I and others like us will find a solution to this problem. We are frustrated! We are fed up! We are concerned. We love this Earth. We are the solution. Keep spreading the word!

    Having said that, I still feel restless most of the time. I know I’m part of the solution, but I want to do more. I want things to happen faster. I want the scope of my actions to be bigger. It can feel like a gerbil on one of those little wheels, running in circles and going nowhere. It’s helpful to know other people who think these thoughts exist! Many people I meet in my everyday life think I’m a little crazy to be thinking about this stuff all of the time. So I thank you for your posts! At least while I read them, I can jump off of my wheel and stop spinning for a minute! 🙂

  4. p.s. – Thanks so much for adding me to your blogroll! I’m very honored!

    • Hey, you’re welcome! It’s nice to know I have company in this crazy struggle.

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