Plastic microparticles have now been found in rainwater, meaning our atmosphere contains tiny pieces of trash that originate from our industrial society. Our oceans, rivers, groundwater, and now air are polluted with plastic.
These materials are not inert, but disrupt endocrine function, meaning they alter our hormones and can create an increased risk of cancer. They are becoming so ubiquitous that we eat, drink, and breathe our own trash.
As noted in a recent article:
“Animals and humans consume microplastics via water and food, and we likely breathe in micro- and nanoplastic particles in the air, though scientists have yet to understand the health effects. Microplastics can also attract and attach to heavy metals like mercury and other hazardous chemicals, as well as toxic bacteria. “Plastic particles from furniture and carpets could contain flame retardants that are toxic to humans,” Krause said.”
Is this really the legacy we want to leave for our children and grandchildren to experience? Is it not perhaps time to sound the alarm of plastics?
We have certainly sounded the alarm for white privilege (social justice). We have let the entire world know about patriarchy (social justice). We have been shouting at each other about sexism (social justice). But what about plastic trash that affects the entire world’s biota (ecological justice). We seem to be relatively quiet on this front.
I wonder when the rewilding folks will finally decolonize their minds and realize their incessant focus on social justice is a practice deeply imbued with a human supremacy ideology. This is not to write that we should ignore social injustices (i.e., don’t jump to the extreme and make assumptions about what I am trying to state). We need to do both (social and ecological justice).
I wonder when the rest of the world will pull itself away from watching sports games, shopping online, and enjoying their booze cruises to realize: we are not just polluting the surface of the earth with plastic, but also above and below ground.
When will the alarm be sounded that the convenience of throwing things away after a single use is a theft from future generations of life?
We all would (or should) react strongly to a white person casting racist comments toward a person of color. This shouldn’t be accepted in our society. But when we will realize that purchasing polyester fleece fabrics, supporting food and drink franchises that rely on single-use plastic wares, and giving children cheap plastic toys that break within weeks or months is the same thing—only directed at all of life (not just a human).
When will ecological justice become something that this industrial society considers important?