Plastic Monday: Say No to “Stupid Plastic”

We just sent our latest issue of the Green American to the printer, so in about three weeks, you’ll be getting “Take the Plastic Challenge” in your mailboxes—or e-mail inboxes, if you’ve signed up to get our publications in digital format. In honor of the editorial team hitting our latest deadline, I thought I’d offer a small sneak peek at our upcoming plastics-centered theme. When my fellow editors and I started looking into the social and environmental impacts of plastic, we expected to find plenty of things to be concerned about. What we didn’t expect was to be freaking out as much as we are about plastic. Because once you really start thinking about it, you notice that plastic is EVERYWHERE. As author Susan Freinkel points out in her book Plastic: A Love Story, you probably can’t go five minutes after waking up in the morning without touching something plastic (i.e. alarm clock, glasses, toothbrush, soap dispenser, towel rack, and oh-my-gosh … toilet seat). There are two big reasons to flip out over how pervasive plastic has become worldwide since Leo Hendrik Baekeland invented Bakelite (the first commercially successful plastic) in 1907:

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