Changing the Story of Plastic

Changing the Story of Plastic

As I sit upstairs looking out towards Mount Agung, the bubbling creek cascading into a pool of lilies, I can easily forget the rest of the world. Coconut trees wave in the breeze, the hen chuckles, and the white clouds are covered by thicker clouds tinged with grey and rain.

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Oh, yes, there are still sounds of modernization, the motor bike, maybe a chainsaw in the distant back ground, but predominantly the water cascading, the leaves rustling and birds calling takes me away. I am just sitting, being, taking in the experience of awe.

So, what of the troubles of the world? I don’t know the latest unless I request to use the modem for wifi, and that can wait. But, the ever present issues of plastic waste, acidification of the ocean, and everything else to do with there being too many humans consuming and destroying Nature on this planet will not go away.

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Balian Beach. Rubbish from mountains comes down with the rains, flows into the ocean and back again where it sits on the beach until the tide washes it out to sea again. 

We must tap into our individual and collective genius to find ways to rectify our wrong-path ways.

Plastic filament recyclers and 3 D printing appear to offer an ingenious way to change people’s perceptions of used plastic as waste, and instead see it as a valuable reusable resource. Billions of tons of plastic already exist and we need to stop drilling for petroleum. One way to minimize the need is to stop making new plastic. Plastic Bank has started in Haiti to pay a premium for collected used plastic and turn it into plastic filament for 3 D printing. I even saw a video of a machine that can be used for small businesses, schools etc to recycle and create their own filament. They are seeking partners and donations but seem to be inundated with what they are currently doing. Another group of people have devised a small machine that is also suitable and costs under $1000. I see that this could be used for underemployed people to make their own plastic items for self-use and resale. What an incentive to pick up plastic, and preferably not throw it away or burn it in the first place. But I ponder, would it work as a business? What type of model will enable social justice and support other Nature Projects?

We can and must do what ever we can. I see myself more as a nurturer and supporter/advocator but maybe I can be a builder. Do you want to join me? If you are unsure what type of action best suits you check out The Story of Stuff. http://storyofstuff.org/changemaker/

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