Friday, August 8, 2008

Some people think forever=500 years.

plastic is foreverplastic is forever
(Hopefully you can read the very small English or at least make out some of the pictures and number of years it takes these things to biodegrade.)

I saw this sign in Ilha Grande, Brazil--an island that is 90% nature preserve/national park. I liked it because it makes people aware that trash doesn't just go away. You don't "throw away" trash, you send trash to a land fill! That is a place (a little place many people call "Away"). If you have never been to a landfill I highly suggest a visit. It is saddingly eye-opening. As Kerry told you plastic doesn't biodegrade (some day a bacteria will evolve that can consume plastic--and it will take over the world!)...and often plastic ends up in our ocean landfill 'The Great Pacific Garbage Patch', because it is light and flies away off trucks or flows down rivers into the ocean, etc.

I found this sign interesting also because it only gives plastic a 500 year lifespan (while nylon fishing line-also plastic-gets 650 years...hummm). From everything I have read that is wrong, plastic breaks down, down, down, but it never goes away. That's how it fills the bellies of sea turtles after all, because it gets just small enough to eat but then gets stuck in their guts and can't break down :(

Whether it is 500 years or forever that's a long time! Think about committed are you to that iced coffee? Forever committed? 500 years committed? Both are a very long time!


plasticfreenyc said...

This is such a cool chart. If you click on it, you can see a much bigger version and it's easy to read.

One thing about newspapers.. this says that they take 6 months to decompose. but I've read that in a landfill, if newspapers are stacked on top of each other, they don't break down.. you could read a paper from 1950 with no problem. so crazy!

plasticfreenyc said...

p.s. this is an amazing article about garbage & what happens in landfills from GQ:

i highly recommend!