Picking at plastic myth
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