Plastic. What crosses your mind when you hear that word? Plastic is part of our daily lives and will seemingly continue to be for the foreseeable future. Carolyn Wilke wrote a piece for Sciencenews.org which explained where plastics are showing up. Plastics are of course in the water, but how deep? Plastics have been found in crustaceans from a depth of 10,890 meters. The trench stretches down to a whopping 11,034 meters. Plastics have been found above sea level, but how high? The highest point on Mount Everest is around 8,850 meters. Researchers also found plastic on Mt. Everest at a height of 8,440 meters. So, we have discovered plastic near the lowest and highest parts of Earth. Researchers have also found plastics in ice core samples from the Artic. From the air to our stomachs, plastic is everywhere.
Imagine a researcher digging in the distant future. Say, 1,000 years. What will they find? Will they find massive amounts of plastics throw about, levels of carbon emissions being emitted at a seemingly self-genocidal rate, massive loss of biodiversity and life? Or will they find green pastures, lush forests, clean water, and clean air teeming with life? It’s up to us to demand biodegradable products. It’s up to us to reuse, reduce, recycle, repurpose, and reinvent. One could even argue, we are living through a new geologic time called the Anthropocene (human plus geological time. In short, it’s up to us.