To the editor,
Re: Plastic pollution shouldn’t be regulated, Letters, July 27.
Recently a letter was published extolling the virtues of plastic: cheap, light and convenient. All that is true.
However, there is an enormous downside to continued plastic use currently being explored on the Knowledge Network series The War on Plastic.
Residents on a random U.K. street were persuaded to bring all the single-use plastics they had in their houses – bathrooms, kitchens, garages, etc. – and lay them out in the street, house by house. Scaled up from that one street to the millions of houses across Britain, the amount of single-use plastic was a mind-boggling multi-billion number of items.
A visit to an illegal plastic dump in Malaysia revealed waste plastic, clearly identified as coming from the U.K., some collected by public recycling services and supposedly recycled as well as every kind of consumer plastic waste imaginable in appalling football-field-sized piles in the jungle, threatening the health of the local people.
Plastic does not decompose, it merely breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces that then enter the bloodstreams of other creatures including humans when we eat ocean foods. Much of our clothing is now made from plastic blends. When they are washed, particles are shed that then go down the drain and into water systems. There are microscopic plastic fibres in the air in an ordinary house, pieces small enough to possibly enter our lungs.
Plastic is everywhere.
Contrary to the opinion of the original letter writer who saw the regulation of plastic use as an unwanted violation of personal liberty, or a threat to our health because plastic bags can be more sanitary than reusable bags, the real threat to our health as well as that to the planet in general is the continued uncontrolled use of plastic when less damaging alternatives are available.
Liz Fox, Lantzville
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