Pick­ing at plas­tic myth

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Westernopinion -

I WOULD like to chal­lenge the the­ory that plas­tic takes 1000 years to break down.

I’ve had plas­tic bags fall to pieces in my own home.

I used to put spe­cial things (like a par­tic­u­lar sou­venir is­sue of a pa­per or mag­a­zine) in plas­tic to pro­tect them and also so they were less likely to be thrown out by mis­take.

I don’t do this any­more. Re­mov­ing all the tiny bits of plas­tic when they dis­in­te­grate is a chore.

Yes, the old-style plas­tic might pos­si­bly have taken a long time to fall apart.

I’ve got old pieces of plas­tic that must be 20 years old and more, but they stopped mak­ing plas­tic like that years ago.

But even the old stuff, be­fore the days when they treated it to dis­in­te­grate, falls apart when ex­posed to sun­light.

I found out by ac­ci­dent. I had a sheet of the old stuff pro­tect­ing a rack of clothes and sun­light came in through a glass door.

De­priv­ing us of to­day’s plas­tic is not help­ing the en­vi­ron­ment; it might even dam­age it. More trees are likely to be cut down to make pa­per bags and brown pa­per.

I came across ev­i­dence of plas­tic break­ing down this past week. I left an empty milk bot­tle on my back veranda and for­got about it.

Ad­mit­tedly it would have got a bit of morn­ing sun, so that would have helped.

I fill old ice­cream con­tain­ers with wa­ter for the birds and leave them out and ev­ery so of­ten have to re­place them be­cause they get brit­tle and break.

Safety wise, plas­tic is a good thing. When I was a child bro­ken glass was a night­mare. You’d run bare­foot out in the yard and cut your foot on bro­ken glass.

A lo­cal man was car­ry­ing bot­tles of beer home from the pub, tripped and fell and cut him­self on the bro­ken glass.

By the time the am­bu­lance got him to Kal­go­or­lie he was dead.

EILEEN GOMM, Kar­rinyup

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.