The problem is not the things we like, it's the way we do business. It's the way huge corporations handle distributing goods, maximizing profits. We absolutely have the power to turn this around, to whatever extent that we really want to turn it around.
Unlike air pollution which we can see and smell, most think plastic is harmless, or merely an aesthetic eyesore when seen on the ground or in the water, Woodring says, and is perceived of as less of a planetary problem by the public.
Tell the flight attendants you want just the can, no napkin, next time you need a shot of carbonated caffeine while in the air. Why use so many plastic cups, and what happens to them when the plane lands?
Those photographs of sludge-soaked pelicans are painful to behold. It's those hollow pupils peeking out of the brown death. They are an avian version of the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg that Fitzgerald once wrote about -- and they implicate us all.
Not only does bottled water take valuable water resources from locations around the country that need them, but it uses huge amounts of fossil fuel to bottle and deliver it, leaving in its wake a literal ocean of unrecycled plastics.