Have you ever noticed that nowadays we tend to measure the amount of any particular product by placing said product end to end and speculating how far the object will reach? For instance, a particular company packages two hundred fifty million boxes of frozen lima beans each year. A company spokesman will then say, “We manufacture enough product that if placed end to end would reach from New York to Sarasota, Florida and back.” Or the bubble gum company that claims it produces so many pieces that if placed end to end would reach to the moon and back seven and a half times.
These claims seem a bit outlandish but you get the general idea. There is one more that I cannot resist verbalizing. I’m going to say this in my best attempt to avoid a hull-a-baloo. The United States drinks enough clear non-carbonated beverages in clear containers to stretch around the world less than one hundred ninety one times, or so we are told.
Now I’m all for being a good steward while I live on this planet. I believe we should keep our water clean, our air pure, and take care of, in so far as we can, this beautiful planet that God has given us to live on. But I just can’t get excited about a plastic bottle being buried in dirt whether it takes thirty minutes or a half a billion years to decompose.
The formula seems rather simple to me. We unscrew a top. We drink the substance contained within the bottle. We may choose to screw the top back on and then discard the container or discard the top separately. This trash will soon find its way into a landfill (which by the way is put there to bury plastic bottles and other implements of indestructible plastic) where it will sit more than likely being covered with a carpet of grass when the landfill has fulfilled its purpose. Perhaps a housing project will be constructed in this area. And in this housing project people will be discarding plastic bottles and other implements of indestructible plastic into new landfills.
As you can see this is the plastic cycle of life and I for one fear to trod on such an institution that has persevered for such a lengthy time span.
If we were to take a shovel and dig into one of these long dead landfills there would be much that we could learn. First off we would find that it is still full of trash. Secondly (and this applies to the craft of writing) we would also learn that as we cut through the garbage we create a clearing that exposes the direction in which we are trying to lead our readers without the unnecessary clutter.
So you see…. (excuse me while I open a bottle of water….glug…glug…glug) keep your story clean, keep your water pristine………………………………..can’t think of anything that rhymes with “clean” or “pristine” so I guess I’m done!