Each day I see another news article about the amount of plastic in our oceans and our landfills. Another article that reiterates that every piece of plastic that has been made still exists. Another article, that most plastics can’t be or aren’t being recycled.
I drive by the local hay storage fields and see large round bales wrapped in non biodegradable white plastic. As the winter moves into spring, those fields are littered with the white plastic that was torn off of the bale before feeding it to the herds or flocks. I see that plastic in the streams and creeks that flow down to the New River, on to the Ohio River and the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico.
I try to not buy or use one use plastic plastic, but with Covid, you can no longer take your reuseable cup or mug to be refilled, if you want to eat out, it is take out and though we are seeing more and more use of cardboard containers, there are still styrofoam clamshells used by some food places. When you go in the grocer or even the Farmer’s Market, items are in plastic, so it is difficult to avoid.
Each year I stress when the garden starts providing food that doesn’t get canned in reuseable glass jars with reuseable canning lids, food that is destined to be frozen like peas and beans because the available containers are plastic bags or boxes. I tried wide mouth glass jars one year and had a lot of breakage. Yesterday an ad popped up for compostable 32 ounce bamboo fiber containers with snap on lids. They are hand washable, can go in the microwave or even the oven up to certain temperatures and when you are done, they compost in 90 days. That sounds like a winner. I can freeze peas in a smaller silicone bag and then remove them and pack several lumps in one container. Blanched green beans can be frozen on a cookie sheet and packed loosely. The snap on lids can be labelled with paper tap or written directly on the lid. I ordered a 50 pack to try this year. I hope that I have found a more environmentally friendly way to save my produce that I don’t want to can in glass for the shelves.
Our state has recently enacted legislation that will ban styrofoam and single use plastic by 2025. I see even Glad coming out with alternatives to plastic. I hope there is more of this type of restriction and innovation and less plastic in our future. I wonder how many of our health problems are the result of the rapid increase in the use of plastic in our environment and our everyday life. We already know that the industry has had to change the formulation to remove certain chemicals. Lets hope for change.