Some Thoughts about Plastic from the Snail of Happiness

Nowadays, plastic is everywhere—in our homes, in our businesses, in our landscapes, in our oceans. It is a fact of everyday life. Because of its inability to breakdown, plastic has been called the devil’s resin. I am trying, with limited success, to reduce the amount of plastic that I use, and I am sure this is true for a lot of readers.

Recently, Jan, from the blog The Snail of Happiness, wrote a post about plastic and how it might be used appropriately. She has agreed to let me link to this thought-provoking post.

Here are the first two paragraphs from Jan’s piece:

Today I want to discuss plastic… it’s in the news a lot at the moment and it is always portrayed as being evil. Well, I want to say that I disagree. Please stick with me on this and I’ll explain why I’m worried about the huge number of “plastic-free [insert town name here]” initiatives that are springing up and the way that plastic is presented currently in the media.

Language is very important, what we call things affects the way we perceive them. Call it “global warming” and the immediate image (in the UK at least) is nicer summers; call it “climate change” and that just means things are going to be different, and, after all, we all know that “a change is as good as a rest”; but call it “catastrophic climate breakdown” and there are no comfortable images to hide behind. See what I mean?

Click here to read the full piece and Jan’s take on the use of plastic in the modern world.

In some ways, Jan has made me reconsider my position on plastic. But her piece has also emphasized what I think is the need for a circular economy, where materials are seldom discarded and instead reused for other things. This should be done as locally as possible as shipping trash to China is rubbish. And could local centers, where material is recycled and remade into useful items, actually be a boon to towns and cities? A sort of mini resurgence in manufacturing? Maybe so.

Anyway, thank you, Jan, for this terrific piece.



20 thoughts on “Some Thoughts about Plastic from the Snail of Happiness”

  1. Yes I agree with Susan, a thought provoking post. For all us, but especially the younger generations, it is really important that they can do something locally that is making a difference & the added bonus would be to create jobs. I’m going to look at what is happening in our area for a future post.

  2. I can’t remember where I read it now, but I did read that one of the unintended consequences of bans on so-called “single use” plastic bags has been a sudden uptick in the purchase of small, plastic kitchen trash bags! I can understand that, because the bags I bring home from the grocery store never are single use. When I had a kitty, they were useful for disposing of litter. I use them at work for trash bags, and wrap them around my power tools that are stored outside to protect them from the humidity. And so on, and so forth.

    I suspect my behavior’s a holdover from the days of paper grocery sacks. They never, ever were thrown away when I was a kid. They were neatly folded and kept in a cupboard, until a need arose. Of course, we stored leftovers in glass containers and washed out milk bottles, too. Some of those practices could stand to be brought back!

  3. Thank you for sharing this Laurie and it’s an interesting read. Over here there’s a strong initiative to go plastic-free, supported by the councils. They no longer buy ‘disposable’ or single-use plastics such as cups, plates, cutlery, straws etc and when enough people stop buying them there will be less reason for the manufacturers to continue to produce them. Balloon releases have long been banned here too 🙂💖 xxx

  4. Thank you both for this. I’m all for reusing. I’m amazed at how little we repair things nowadays, and how much we throw out. It’s a relatively new thing. Our parents and grandparents didn’t behave like this.

  5. Great post, Laurie. It’s so easy to keep doing things the same way and little reminders like this help us to remember to keep trying new and better ways of doing things. Reusing plastic bags and containers is a long time practice of mine. Avoiding the plastic in the first place is slower to sink in to every day life.

Comments are closed.