Fifty million plastic bottles were consumed in the U.S. alone last year. Thirty eight billion didn’t quite make it to the recycling bin — and ended up in landfills. We have until the next millennium before they decompose — but how exactly does plastic decompose? Does it give off fumes? Do toxins leach out into the soil during bio-degradation?
Flowers here made from plastic milk bottles, from Anthropoligie’s Flickr Pool.
I hope those scientists are wrong. A 16-year old Ontario student figured out how to decompose plastic in just three months. He makes my heart sing. An enormous island of trash twice the size of Texas is floating in the Pacific Ocean somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. It’s been growing since the 1950s.
Some of the plastic slivers end up along the beach, where they look like sand. Little fishes and crabs confuse plastic slivers for food, putting plastic into our food supply. Someday we might just have a beach made out of broken plastic slivers. I find this horrifying.
The Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Calendar tells me that today and tomorrow are not good days for planting, according to the moon. But come Saturday, I’m starting some seedlings indoors. It may be early, but I never do have melons in time for July 4th. Gardening gives me a way to create more soil; to create more earth; to create something green in this oh, so plastic world we live in. I can hardly wait.