The first step to be taken is to raise awareness that there is a problem and that it has not been necessary created by the plastics industry but from a no responsible use and disposal.
This sculpture shows the need to “place” plastics and ourselves in the correct position to being able to respect one of the most important resources of the planet: the sea and the wildlife. Unfortunately represents one of the most important focus of contamination and devastation of wildlife. This is not a matter of the own nature of plastics but of an aggressive and irresponsible attitude from people. In which an important lack of Education and empathy towards a green culture build a decontrol system without taking individual responsibility. Is it clear for me that at this level of “nature devastation”, penalizations and consequences for individual/companies unethical behavior should be taken very seriously to the point to ban their activities if there are not under certain minimum standards of sustainability.
Ethics has become the only path towards sustainability and not just a matter of good intentions or individual idealism but of a normal practice responsive to a new normal of increasing harm into the environment.
Is estimated that 12 million tones of plastic are in our oceans, killing up to 1 million marine birds and 100.000 marine animals each year*.
For the 30 million plastic bags used in the United States per year alone, 12 million barrels of oil are required. And for all of the water bottles manufactures in the United States each year, roughly 17 million barrels of oil are needed. The drilling, transportation and processing of this oil into plastic materials is an energy intensive process that involves burning fossil fuels.*
There are 50 billion water bottles consumed every year, about 30 billion in the US.*
Its an imperative to “reshape” people´s attitudes and the own plastic industry without the emotional aspects of being in “war” but of a steady action of changing habits and ways of producing. All the devastation linked to disposal is not a matter of responsibility of the plastics industry in itself but of practices that must be condemned by strong sanctions.
The fact that plastics come from burning fossil fuels doesn’t mean that must be completely eradicated but that innovation should lead the path towards a new production system. The smart investment on research and development will definitely lead to an innovative relation between producing plastics and protecting the environment.
“Killing the plastic industry” is not the answer, but a reshape of the sector by a strong boost of their capacities for innovation and reconversion towards a brand new industry. In addition, a strong framework of ethical codes (and sanctions) and a solid Education within their citizens.
In the end, it means a cultural change at all levels –individual and business-.
As the sculpture: plastics, sea and people, could live happily in a harmonious relationship in which Education and a dramatic change of culture towards sustainability and empathy would build the roots for a new green world.
*Sculpture by Alison Mc. Donald