It wasn’t that long ago that nobody thought about plastic. The idea that plastic could get so small and persist for so long was not being discussed outside of a few small, and seemingly invisible, circles of scientists and activists. But even those folks never dreamed that they would one day be talking about plastic so small that it becomes part of our individual cells, plastic we eat, or even breathe. Breathing plastic! It would have seemed like science fiction, if anybody had thought of it at all.
It wasn’t that long ago, but it seems like it was. Now this.
It feels like we really do know how huge the problem is, we are starting to acknowledge it, but only incrementally. A steady drip of bad news made up of small portions we can forget easily, or dismiss altogether. Without actually coming to a sense of the scope of the problem, we will never be able to do what will be necessary to make real change.
It is a massive problem and it will require a massive response. The things that we will need to do would seem far-out, at best, to the ears of today… no more plastic packaging, no more single-use of any kind, disposal costs included as manufacturing expense, discontinue all subsidies at every level of the supply chain… just for starters.
No matter how crazy any of these ideas may sound, remember, you’re breathing plastic. Doesn’t get much more insane than that.