Please stop buying plastic

The plastic bits and pieces we throw away or that escape from our recycling bins are destroying others’ lives. Let’s take responsibility for that. Let’s stop buying plastic. I am totally serious. Get used kid’s toys. Carry reusable shopping bags. Buy food in bulk and reuse containers. Don’t buy cheap souvenirs you don’t need. Sure, you might need the occasional bike helmet or toothbrush, or maybe you work in an industry that uses plastic for essential things like medical equipment, and I know it can be really hard to avoid acquiring new peanut butter jars if your local grocery doesn’t have a bulk foods section. But we humans do not need plastic water bottles. We do not need plastic jugs full of juice when local fruit is healthy and requires no wrapper. We do not need more little plastic toys, party favors, and Mardi Gras necklaces.

Maybe you’re not convinced, or maybe you think this is just idealism talking. But if you have a sense of basic human decency and responsibility for your actions, please, watch this trailer. Chris Jordan’s Midway: Tales from the Gyre is beautiful, subtle, only 4 minutes long, and it will shock you. I hope it brings you to tears as it brought me to tears. I hope it makes all of us think twice before paying money for any piece of new plastic – because plastic never goes away. We all have to stop making and selling and buying it, or it will destroy us.

A million thanks to Renee and Nell for posting this video on Facebook. If you see this post and don’t mind me linking to your Facebook profile or another personal website here as a credit, please let me know.

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