Wednesday, September 23, 2015

An Environmental Battle Lost?

A friend of mine named Harry has been quite active in an issue most of us here in flyover land never see:  Plastic wastes in our oceans.

He had a blog on the subject called The Flotsam Diaries which I fear he has allowed to go dormant.

But of course the problem has not gone away.

Plastic is great stuff.  Few of us - well, OK, I am one - would enjoy a return to an era of crockery and wooden buckets.  But people are careless and recycling is more difficult than you would think.  So a lot of plastic gets misused.

At least people worked pretty hard to recycle aluminum cans, as they had a small but real monetary value.

So I was dismayed the other day when I was at a convenience store and wanted a 12 ounce can of pop.

They did not have any.

None.  Oh, you could still purchase these in 12 and 24 packs but there were no individual cans. Unless you wanted to walk out with an armful of product, you had to go plastic.

Something changed when I was not paying attention.  I doubt it is pure economics, both aluminum for cans,  and the oil that is the initial step in making plastic are fairly cheap these days.  On a parallel note I should say that the traditional 12 oz can that I was looking for is also nearly extinct.  Sodas are now like french fries orders, Large, Larger and Ginormous.

What cans of beverage you now find in the coolers are Energy Drinks,  in cans of 16 ounces or larger. They have alarming names...

(Don't infer from this rant that I disapprove of caffeinated stimulants.  I would not be working ER night shifts at my age without the miracle of black coffee, or as I prefer to call it: "The Armored Flail of Enlightenment).

Italian churches have the BEST grave markers!

No, I am afraid this is part of a bigger trend in American life.  We want things Bigger, Higher Powered, Immediately and Sans Consequences.  When you can't purchase a reasonably sized, easily recycled container of a sane beverage (OK, we're talking Mountain Dew, but compare to the atrocities above!) we are further down the road to Consumer Madness than I thought.

Harry and I don't vote for the same political party very often.  We have courteous debates on the issues of the day.  But I like to think that on things that really matter, we see things eye to eye.

Bloodshot, caffeine deprived eye in my case.

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