The problem of plastics pollution

Recent Studies State Chemical In Plastic Liquid Containers Contain ToxBy Catherine Haug, Jan 18, 2014

(photo of plastic pop bottles, right, from (3))

This month (Jan 30, 2014), Citizens for a Better Flathead and Waste Not Project are hosting a movie night/panel discussion on recycling more in the Flathead (see Event Notice: Movie Night on Recycling More in the Flathead, Jan 30. 2014). Attendees are encouraged to bring questions and solution ideas to the panel, and a documentary film: Unwasted: The Future of Business on Planet Earth, available on YouTube (1) may give you some ideas to bring to the event, or inspire you to action in your community. The film was produced in 2011 by Seattle-based, green facility maintenance firm Sage Environmental Services2 in partnership with PorterWorks,3 a sustainable solutions company.

High on the list of things that are difficult to recycle here are plastics. We can currently recycle milk jugs and plastic pop bottles, but that’s about it.Yet plastics pose a great threat to the future of our planet.

From Dr. Mercola’s article on this film and topic (2):

“The featured documentary, Unwasted: The Future of Business on Earth, presents the alluring ideal of zero waste as a key element of the sustainable business model. While some may shake their heads thinking this an impossible task, it’s worth remembering that mankind had a zero waste lifestyle up until about 100 years ago.

There were no plastic wraps around the food you bought, and virtually every scrap, be it fabric, paper, wood, or metal, was repeatedly reused; creatively refashioned into new products. The same cannot be said for our modern way of life…”

“Plastic pollution is perhaps one of the greatest challenges we face, as it’s now entering the food chain. Only a very small percentage of plastic waste is recycled and remade into durable goods. The world produces 200 billion pounds of plastics every year. Ten percent of that ends up in our oceans.

It’s not just marine animals that are being affected. You, too, are ingesting minute levels of plastics every day, and being exposed to a potentially deadly mix of plastic chemicals and additives, including:

  • Cancer-causing PFOAs
  • PBDEs, which cause reproductive problems
  • The reproductive toxins, phthalates
  • BPA, which disrupts the endocrine system by mimicking the female hormone estrogen

Bottled water is perhaps one of the most environmentally unfriendly industries there is. Americans consume about half a billion bottles of water every week!The environmental ramifications of this practice are enormous. Becoming more responsible about how we discard our waste is not just a ‘nice idea.’

There is no one single solution to the waste problem. But you can do your part by taking steps to reduce your waste, recycle, and repurpose what you can. Tips and suggestions for where to start are included.”


  1. Mercola:
  2. YouTube:
  3. NPR article:

Comments are closed.