Do Plants Eat Plastic?



I'm going to go against conventional thought here. Not because I'm a trouble maker, attention seeker or conspiracy theorist but because I am now convinced that the public has been completely misinformed on plastics, specifically on plastic bags.


It starts back  in chemistry class, where I was told plastic is mostly made from chemicals in the air and some bio fuel. For some reason that lesson has remained with me all these years. I suppose it was because I was amazed at how something could be created from thin air, like magic.


Basically, we produce a material made from chemicals in the air and bio-fuels formed from decayed matter. Bio-fuel is also what is used to fertilize our crops. This material who's chemical creation by processes most don't understand becomes a hazard to the environment and we should do what we can to protect the planet for future generations.


Taxes for plastic bags are put in place, and where municipalities were too slow, commercial establishments take the opportunity to earn some extra cash, in the name of saving the planet! Well, OK, I'll play along don't want to be a spoil sport, come across like a disgruntled citizen. I buy some plastic bins to purchase my groceries and soon  realize I need to purchase green garbage bags for my waste. After some weight waste analysis on my part, (not an expert but the science is simple enough for even I to figure out), I discovered I was placing more plastic in the environment using garbage bags.


Ever vigilant, I decided I would only buy as many grocery bags as I needed to dispose of my garbage and use paper bags for the rest. By this point my plastic bins were covered in dust and wet sticky substances, and the current situation  made them redundant. As it turns out the grocery stores don't provide paper bags anymore. Wonder what spurred that on? Perhaps profits from the sale of plastic bags?


Enter the Green Bin. For those of you who are not familiar with the Green Monster, it is a specially designed garbage receptacle, made of heavy duty plastic, for organic matter that is collected for composting. This compost of high quality is then sold to farmers. Great idea except now I need paper bags to dispose of my organic matter. These are no longer available at the grocery stores when buying groceries, so now I can purchase them or take a trip to the liquor store where they are still available with purchase.


The company that provides the service to the city is Orgaworld. Sounds like a theme park. There has been some legal wranglings with the city and issues regarding guaranteed input provided by the good citizens. Overall the company seems to be providing a good service and the quality of it's product high. 


So now the this company that composts organic matter wants to increase out put by collecting diapers and plastic bags!?? They are even bringing the matter up before Provincial tribunals and engaging in more legal mumbo jumbo. Doesn't Orgaworld realize plastic doesn't decompose for years and would contaminate the soil? What is wrong here? The stories just don't add up.


Having been suspicious of this recycling effort on the part of government, business, and pressure groups, I have tried to get a grasp of how plastic affects our environment. My suspicion has been fueled by mixed messages, the obvious profits that can be earned from garbage, organized crime involvement , distrust of the Green movement and basic knowledge of chemistry.


Plastic eventually breaks down into water , CO2, and biomass. Sixty percent of the CO2 remains in the biomass. This is plant food! That is why Orgaworld is trying so hard to get it into the mix. They can't come right out and proclaim it to the world, it would topple the whole recycling debacle and place them in a precarious position politically.


I know we have all been told plastic takes eons to break down and what it leaves behind is nasty. Yes plastic products can leave behind some nasty chemicals and heavy metals, but these are usually contained in the paints and coatings. Today's plastic bags do not contain such substances. The time it takes to break down in the controlled environment of Orgaworld  is reduced significantly or why would they want it?


If today's plastic bags make it to land fills it will break down into plant food eventually and not harm the ecology. If it goes to Orgaworld the same process takes place only faster.



Uploaded 06/14/2010
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