Updated: Apr 8
I had been thinking over and over and OVER AGAIN- how did our plastic-situation snowball to what it is today and I believe it boils down to:
Plastic in many ways has indeed given our civilization convenience (and profit…just saying) like no other times ever had.
I had a rather chanceful encounter with an expert in Polymer Science & Technology through a referred-job and we talked a little about the plastic situation during ice-breaking. In the conversation, I insisted that I could very well live a green life without disposable-plastics.
The expert agrees that much single-use plastic usage can be reduced, but remarked that we are missing out on the much obvious plastics:" do you know how much plastic goes into your smartphone?"
It hit me right on my face. He is right.
Even the environmental activist who is writing a post on being eco-friendly must use some smart gadgets and Wi-Fi certainly did not grow off a tree. Haha.
Technology is an innovation to overcome inconveniences. Inconveniences are the impetus of our advancement. But we’re about to be annihilated by our man-made conveniences if not careful.
The truth is, plastic and humanity pretty much co-exist now. Its usage is somewhat unavoidable in most modern applications. Unless, the world unanimously agrees to this “break-up”, which is- very unlikely and well, unnecessary if we use them well.
Perhaps, this is why plastics remain inevitable.
So, the first word to come out of any person that is urged to reuse, recycle, reduce or reject single-use plastic these days is: “ma fan” (麻烦), literally translated as troublesome OR a nuisance if you’re already irritated by the mention of the subject matter OR inconvenient-in a more dignified manner.
OK- to a certain extent agreeable because plastic is indeed wonderfully convenient. I could very well live a day without man, but not without plastic. Haha!
Never burn your bridges, right?
This means our co-existence boils down to the timeless concept of balance.
So, here are a few ways to trouble yourself:
1. Trouble yourself and bring your own reusable plastic/ metal /glass/ high-tech-compressed-whatever-biodegradable-material for the packing of food and drinks.
2. Trouble yourself and bring your own reusable plastic bags, paper bags, fabric bags when shopping. Your goods deserve the best carrier after all. Imagine Gucci paper bag for your oranges. Bellissimo!
3. Alternatively, Trouble yourself and carry with your bare hands if you forget them all.
4. Of course, there are many more ways to inconvenient yourself, ultimately for your own well being: https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/various-ways-to-go-green.php
5. Small businesses, trouble yourself and be the much noble and wiser one. You might have to make a few cents lesser to encourage ignorant customers to bring their own containers for their purchases. (You MIGHT very well attract a different crowd from your good effort! Some say it's called good Karma.)
6. Supermarkets, trouble yourself and eliminate all single-use plastics that are not inherently packaged with the goods, like the ones that are used for the packing of loose food, fruits, and vegetables.
7. Aunty and uncles, trouble yourself lah….I know you feel like you’re too old for the plastic-problem, but you did use A LOT of plastics too. Besides, you have children and probably grandchildren mah…
8. Young parents-to-be, trouble yourself and give your offspring a fighting chance. If otherwise, trouble yourself-restrain your horny-ness and do humanity a favor- don’t reproduce.
Why should anyone else be doing any more for your kids' future than you should?
9. Corporations, trouble your yourself simply because you can! You have the power and influence to put into effect changes more easily than any individual! Invest in alternatives or create new ways to recollect waste. If you do not want to recollect them, do not create any more. Now, if I’m as powerful as you and I have teams at my disposal- I wouldn’t be squatting here. (So, don't you say it's any easier for me.)
10. Large businesses of all sorts, trouble yourself and consider making less profit to keep the current riches you already own! None of it is going to worth any more than your life when facing the wrath of nature.
11. Governments- you’re the trouble. Make yourself useful. Come on- you can all do better than that!
12. Humanity, trouble ourselves and we might just stand a chance to rejoice these magnificent wonders, longer. Please inconvenient yourself now until recovery looks promising or we may not have a planet left to even create conveniences on it/from it, anymore.
I don’t know if all these troubles will reverse all the damages we had done, but I am pretty sure there was a time in my life where my pits sweat slower and there were less (or no) plastics in the salt I consume.
Nature's intelligence is far beyond humanity's.
There's no reason why the convenience that is enjoyed universally by the world; but the responsibility to clean after our own shit falls on individuals who are willing only.