Plastic Pollution
January 01 2012

What was the first plastic item that you touched this year?

by Bill Hickman

Maybe it was a cheap champagne glass at midnight or the tv remote control after watching some of the celebrations.  Maybe you slept through the turn of the calendar and it was your alarm clock or toilet seat first thing in the morning.  For me, it was the case on my phone - a plastic item with the sole purpose of protecting a more expensive plastic/metal/glass item.  Plastic is all around us and it's become tough for some to go through a waking hour without using or touching something plastic.  Can one of your resolutions be to lower your plastic footprint? 

From computer keys to bread bags we often go through our days ignorant to how much we have come to rely on plastics.  It's not all bad as there are durable plastics designed for a lifetime and life saving plastics making a positive impact at hospitals.  On the flip side there is also much too much plastic litter from disposable items that are littering the environment and turning the ocean into a plastic soup.  As beach lovers, surfers and environmentalists we are on the coastal front lines daily, see the issues and are compelled to take action.

For some people taking action means going to city hall to bring about change and to others it's leading by example with reusable bags/bottles and other plastic reductions.  Whatever it is, we love it and you have a place in Surfrider!  Consider getting involved in your local Surfrider Chapter and signing up as a member.

Maybe the first plastic thing you touched this morning was your toothbrush.  Does anyone use a wood toothbrush?  I doubt it, this is one item that's hard to find a replacement for, but there is hope here, too.  Preserve is a company out of Massachusetts that's making toothbrushes (and other products) here in the U.S. out of recycled materials such as yogurt cups.  Most are made from #5 plastics—a kind of plastic that many towns and cities won’t recycle AND you can return them to Preserve to be recycled again!  It's a great example of how a company and you as a consumer can Rise Above Plastics and lower your plastic footprint.