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A plastic world?

"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." John13.17

'The Story of Plastic' is horrifying but necessary. The film charts how this miracle material came out of nowhere to epitomise and dominate the western, consumer lifestyle, which has proved to be the envy of the world - to their and our cost. We are now choking in the stuff. Our rivers and oceans are clogging up with it. Wildlife is getting poisoned, strangled and entwined in it. We kid ourselves that recycling is the answer but the reality is that only 2% is effectively recycled, meaning that the remaining 98% is cluttering the landscape, exported to poor countries, buried in burgeoning landfill sites, or incinerated to release toxic gases into the atmosphere. And to cap it all, it is made of the same stuff as fossil fuel: shale, oil and gas!

I defy anyone not to come away from this documentary without vowing to give up plastic. But how? We are addicted to the stuff. Our way of life depends on it. If you disagree, think for a moment how many of the products we use every day contain it: from the packaging in which our food comes, to the cars we drive and the tools we use for work. Much of it is hidden in the tiny pellets, which we don't notice but never degrade and therefore end up poisoning the environment just as much as the more obvious plastic bags and containers which litter our beaches and shorelines.

But it is important that we try because our efforts to eradicate this scourge from our lives will translate into pressure on shops to stop selling it and on governments to take the big decisions necessary to outlaw its production. And then the clean-up? No, that's got to start - or, rather - continue because that too contributes to the necessary culture shift. We owe it to our children and we shall be held accountable by God, who has made us responsible for looking after the world he has created, the world which he is sustaining despite our destructive habits, the world which he loves and which he will redeem. Let's become stake-holders in the New Earth!



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