Did you know that drinking from plastic bottles may decrease your fertility because they could contain estrogen-alike substances (Bisphenol A)?

Did you know that there is a huge soup of plastic garbage swimming between Japan and Hawaii?

Did you know that every human today has potentially dangerous plastics in his blood?

To be honest. I didn’t.

[ad#ad-1]Until I saw „Plastic Planet„. It’s the newest example of a young but proud tradition of great Austrian documentary movies (e.g. google for „Darwins Nightmare“, „Our Daily Bread“, „Workingman’s Death“, „We Feed The World“, „Let’s Make Money“) and it covers our Plastic Age and it’s implications for our planet – and the humans living on it.

Sitting in the cinema and „enjoying“ this quite well made movie, a few questions and ideas came into my mind.

First of all, I had a weird idea about getting all this plastic out of the Pacific Ocean. There is a huge fleet of unused ships waiting just outside of Singapore because of the current economic crisis. It may sound stupid, but sometimes such ideas do work: Why can’t we use this fleet to gather at least some of this garbage?

Second. Have there been any studies which examined a possible connection between this soup and what we know as the phenomenom called „overfishing“? 10 percent of our plasitc production (which is steadily growing and at the moment around 250 million tons per year) sooner or later end up swimming in our seas and oceans. Animals die from it.

Third. When I flounced on my seat listening to the effects of plastic to the human body, I was immediately very relieved to have bought a drink in a glas bottle before the show. That reminded me that most humans would most likely not act against a problem for idealistic, abstract or sane reasons.

But they act, if you make clear the consequences to their very own life. Few people would stop buying plastic bottles because they are bad for our environment and cause a lot of climate changing-emissions. We know that for a long time – sadly almost nobody cares. But many more people would stop, if they fear a loss of their fertility.

For the topic of climate change this means we have to make clear what the effects for every single person would be, if we do not act sufficiently. Not by falling into hysteria and spreading fear, but by providing relevant and sound information. Don’t talk about the polar bears (too much).

RSS-FeedThat also means to show the advantages (or that there are only few disadvantages) of green technology for every single one of us. There a lot of positive things to say about those topics but I very often get the impression that we too much talk about sacrificing something, not keeping the proportionality.

It lies in the concept of „change“ that things get different. But as the human history shows: Most often they get better. Maybe climate change will require many things to be different.

But is drinking from glas bottles really that much of a sacrifice compared to losing the ability of reproduction? 😉

This post is also published as part of the international Th!nk 2 blogging contest – feel free to comment on this topic there

  • I really like your article, it’s rather well written. I must addmit that I haven’t seen it by now, eventhough my history-teacher offered to go and see it. I’ll watch it soon. Anyway. The suggestions you make are rather good points. All of them.
    What I can enclose to this article is a suggestion: Not using plastic bottles is what I tried for a long time. And it’s actually possible – it’s even easier then you think it would be. Just use a glass ones. I’ve tried metal but the water doesn’t taste good anymore after a certain amount of time. I think (1,5 liter) glass bottles are the best solution – eventhough you need a plastic lid.
    Many words for little content… 😉 like most of the time…

  • pezi

    great headline ^^

    the alternative is made out of grass juice – they’ve discussed it for years in austria as this article confirms (it’s from 2002, there is a picture for people who don’t speak german 😉 ):


    (originally published on th!nk 2 platform)

  • @Armin Using glass is easy, when you limit your consumption to very few products. For example, beer in glass bottles is common – at least here in Austria.

    But you don’t get mineral water, smoothies, milk or most juices in most of our supermarkets anymore, if you want to avoid plastic packages (not even thinking of things like coke). And I am quite sure that the situation is much worse in many other parts of the world. E.g. think of Italy, where you cannot drink tap water (at least in the parts where I was yet) and even have to buy that very basic thing in plastic bottles.

  • Daniel

    What about transportation costs? Since glass is heavier than plastic, wouldn’t delivering all the glass to the supermarkets/homes dramatically increase CO2 emissions?

  • I’m pretty sure that switching (back) to glass would still have a positive effect. But transportation of course is another topic which should be discussed. I think there is a lot of possible innovation in that area.

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