The Plastic Catastrophe

My friend Johnna wrote It’s Literally Raining Plastic on Cleantechnica a few days ago. It’s a short piece but eye-opening. I recommend reading it in full. Plastics are everywhere. Humanity’s insatiable thirst for plastics provides support for oil and gas companies, even as EV’s start reducing gasoline demand.

There’s no borders, there’s no edges. And this is clearly showing that microplastic is going into the sea and back out of the sea. It’s raining on the land and then getting blown back up into the air again, to move somewhere else. There’s no stopping it once it’s out.

Steve Allen, University of Strathclyde

What are things we can do to reduce plastic use? We can’t eliminate the plastic scourge, we can take steps to cut back. These are some steps we have taken as a family.

  • Replace single use plastic soda bottles with aluminum cans or glass bottles. Aluminum cans and glass bottles can easily be recycled.
  • Get stainless steel water bottles to replace bottled water.
  • Switch to a Sodastream, as we mentioned at Thanksgiving.
  • Use stainless steel, glass, and ceramic cups. Stainless steel containers and vessels are common in India, and harder to find in the USA. If you find them, they will be more expensive. They’ll last forever. Shop around for good quality.
  • Avoid plastic grocery bags! We have started using paper bags and bringing canvas bags to the super market. We leave them in the car. Most grocery stores give you five cents back per bag used.
  • There are even compostable dog bags for when your dog has to go, like our pup (often).
  • Use your own flatware versus getting plastic disposable ones for restaurant to-go orders.
  • Same for plastic plates. Corning ware is great. We have some Corning ware bowls that are older than I am.
  • Replace milk and juice plastic jugs with paper cartons. Who wants micro plastics in their drinks? Not me.
  • Try cotton and organic cotton clothes. Step away from nylon, polyester, and rayon. The washing cycle shreds plastics into micro plastics during the wash cycle. This is hard to change, too.
  • Same for bed sheets, look for bamboo or cotton sheets. We like bamboo sheets, but sheets are like food, everyone has their own preference. Some sheets are hypoallergenic, if you have bad allergies.
  • Some companies are moving to carton boxes for laundry detergent. I’ve seen Proctor & Gamble have a few offerings for Tide.
  • If you have to get plastic, get in bulk. I buy a large bottle of refillable liquid soap, and re-use the liquid soap dispensers until they wear out.
  • Even better, get some nice soap dispensers and keep refilling them.

As you can see, plastics are everywhere. Some vehicle manufacturers are using recycled bottles as part of their new EV’s. It’s a small step in the right direction. We can all do our part. Someday, we’ll find a way to re-use micro plastics into something useful.

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Thanks for reading!

Warmest regards,


Published by smilingdad

My story is one of tragedy and redemption. We've made many mistakes along the way regarding our money. Our goal here is to show you how to take care of your money life long, and as much as we can, help the Earth along the way. I call it sustainable personal finance and ethical capitalism. Currently, I am a part time writer for Cleantechnica and part-time licensed financial professional, along with being a full-time dad.

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