When were you last in contact with plastic? Perhaps you are in contact as you are reading this- tapping the lap-top-keys with your sensitive uniquely ornamented fingertips? It is no exaggeration to claim that contemporary subsistence on earth involves plastic. From that little plastic bracelet around a newborn’s tiny wrist to the last sip from a disposable plastic spoon before we take our last breath. Never before has a single material had such an extensive impact on human life.
Plastic is one of the most tangible residues of human mass consumption and it affects us physiologically. We do not yet know exactly how. According to scientists, plastic might play a part in infertility, hormonal imbalances and growth of cancer (1). Since plastic does not decompose as fast as scientists first assumed in the 1950´th, it is accumulating on land and in the oceans if not incinerated. 99% of plastic used today is made from fossil based chemicals (2). Oil on planet earth is estimated to last 50 more years, until the year 2070 (3). So far only a minor amount of plastic is actually being reused- how come?
- Center of International Environmental Law, 2021 https://www.ciel.org/issue/fossil-fuels-plastic/
- World barometer, 2022-02-18 https://www.worldometers.info/oil/