Posted by: David McKay | May 11, 2012

Each day…

Plastic. Still here. I took a break from writing about it to have a child. So, I now have a child.

I have a kid! She is beautiful!

Hmm… makes me think.

What has happened in those 50 days since my last post? What has happened in the twelve days since she was born?

I did a little research:

That is 68,493,150,685 in fifty days, or to say it in a language you might understand: a shit ton. Sixty-eight, four hundred ninety-three, one hundred fifty, six hundred eigthy-five billion bags! In just fifty days? That is ridiculous.

Pounds!? How many plastic bottles in a pound? I’m not doing that math right now, but it’s a lot.

If you say that 2.4 billion is 27%, that would put the production of plastic bottles at… hmm… math problem. 27%x = 2.4 billion times 100%. Divide both sides by 27% and x=8,888,888,888.89. That is 8.9 billion pounds of plastic bottles produced each year. I will divide by 365 (days of the year) = 24,353,120 and then multiply that by 50 (days) and I get: 1,217,656,012.1765. That is approximately 1.2 billion pounds of plastic bottles produced since my last post. Another shit-ton!

Let me sum this up: This if effed up. You know it, and I know it.

Every day that my daughter lives there will be 1.37 billion plastic bags used, and 24.3 million pounds of plastic bottles produced. Every day! Is that the story I want to write, or that I want my daughter to read?

Responsibility is not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink.  Refuse.  Reduce.  Reuse.  Reimagine.






  1. Congratulations on your new arrival. Have you managed to catch up on any sleep yet?

    The numbers you quote are mind boggling – just proves, if proof were needed, that we live in the Age of Stupid. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve shared a link to your blog on Reduce Footprints’ Meet and Greet Monday blog (

    • Thank you, and thank you!

  2. Congratulations!
    And it sounds like you need some good news. Here is my favourite pop-up from the plastic pollution coalition’s database of plastic bans: “In 2009, the Sultan of Oman banned thin plastic shopping bags.” Done – that was simple.
    (hi from the meet&greet).

    • Thanks for reading, CelloMom. And thanks for the good news.

  3. Another great post, David! Thank you SO much for sharing my blog!!! I was thinking about all of these wonderful connections making an impact and the combined effort really adds up! It also inspires me to think and write more. I hope you are all doing well, especially that adorable little one!! 🙂 Kate

  4. Hi from the meet and greet. It was having a child that catapulted me into being more eco conscious; I wrote about it recently on my site. The stats you share are startling aren’t they and I love your quote at the end – thanks for sharing and congrats on your new arrival 🙂

  5. Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. I truly hope that we’ll be able to give her, and all children, a healthy planet. But wow … figures like this don’t bode well. Plastic is pervasive … I’ve heard it called the “bane of society”. We think that a little plastic bag at the grocery store or that plastic packaging that our favorite item comes in is so innocent. But those innocent little bits and pieces are snowballing into one huge disaster. I hope we wake up soon!

    So glad that Eco Warrior Me shared a link to this site on our Meet & Greet … it’s fabulous! Thanks for such great content!

    • So happy to find all of you! I think our community is growing… thank you.

  6. Thought this might be an appropriate venue to share this article on Radical Homemaking…
    This woman does not mention plastic directly or tell us outright how she deals with the plastic in her life, but my guess, based on her description of her “free” biscuits, is that she has avoided the whole issue by making everything from scratch. No packaging necessary. Makes me wonder what packaging IS necessary. (In my home, we have fallen in love with a certain farm’s bacon and it only comes wrapped in plastic…what to do? Raise our own pigs? Drive three hours to the actual farm?)

    Thank you, David, and your readers, for reminding me to remember to care.

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