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FROM MY CORNER, Corporate Plastic Profits

Howell Hurst Climate & Environment, Economy & Finance


Corporate Plastic Profits

I note the media continue to expose the fact that giant islands of plastic are floating in the world’s oceans. The journalistic angle most often taken is that we humans as consumers are acting irresponsibly toward the environment. The relevant journalistic angle, however, is truly that the corporations of the world are acting irresponsibly toward the environment by packaging almost everything in plastic for retail sale. This singular fact is also relevant on another level to us as consumers.

Rarely do we have the opportunity to touch the product we are buying in its neat little clear plastic wrapping until we get home and first test it. Then, if we have misplaced the receipt, we are hard pressed to return the product if something is wrong.

Even raw veggies and fruits are now encased in plastic. What’s the point of this? The point is that the over-riding responsibility for all the plastic on the oceans belongs to the corporations who 1: Don’t make it easy for us to inspect what we are buying and 2: Unnecessarily use plastic to make persuasively designed marketing packages they can vastly overcharge us for.

This plastic device is also a means to carefully select, particularly in food products, only the prettiest potatoes and onions and tomatoes to please the endlessly luxury obsessed consumer from having to eat produce as naturally as it comes from the earth. Rather, the foods must be so gloriously idealized that they do not offend our allegedly delicate sense of taste, although we persistently throw 50% of them away while they are still perfectly edible.

These same corporations also run ads now and again telling us how neat and tidy we should be in recycling and conserving, while they still keep well disguised giant landfills on their private properties.How deviously two faced we humans are. It’s a wonder we’ve not made ourselves extinct yet. But, being very scientific about it, remembering that 90% of all species have gone extinct, there is hope for us yet to soon join the majority.

With this optimistic prognostication, I leave you to your shopping trip today. If you put items in a plastic bag, remember that plastic is another profit center for the oil industry, the same people who have long fought against solar and wind power.


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