Freeranger wrote: Reading the thread about the paper bags and them being discontinued because of deforestation, I guess the problem is that there are so many of us on the planet that when we all chose to do something it's going to have a huge impact,
I have been pondering this for a while too - I agree that plastic pollution needs to be dealt with and seems the only way to tackle it is by not producing anymore otherwise any clean up operations and projects are useless in the long term. I feel committed to doing my part and have joined a number of eco groups on FB to see what I can do as an individual (my eco warrior days are for a younger generation so I'll just try to clean up my own act) and started to wonder if we are just moving consumerism from one bad product to having impacts elsewhere. For example, cotton is a natural fibre so you'd think it would be a good switch but in case you were not aware, cotton cultivation and textile manufacturing is very bad for the environment - WWF
Cotton’s most prominent environmental impacts result from the use of agrochemicals (especially pesticides), the consumption of water, and the conversion of habitat to agricultural use. Diversion of water and its pollution by cotton growing has had severe impacts on major ecosystems such as the Aral Sea in Central Asia, the Indus Delta in Pakistan and the Murray Darling River in Australia.
So what are the alternatives .... this is when other "eco" suggestions are made but as these are still small scale, would they not themselves start to have an environmental impact once they are industrialised to meet the demands of the consumer after plastic is gone? Palm oil production is well known as having a bad image due mainly to large scale deforestation to make way for plantations but as a product, greater yields are acquired than any other oil producing crop and has multiple uses. So when looking for alternatives to plastics, suggestions like bamboo keep coming up .... are we about to see another environment nightmare unfold as everyone ditches plastic for natural products instead? Seems to me that plastics are only part of the problem - consumerism seems to play a major part.