There has been quite a bit of buzz around the world regarding microbeads that are used in liquid soaps and shampoos. Microbeads are banned here in the United States and other places like the UK and Canada are also imposing a ban soon. Thanks to an innovative soap gimmick, these sinister little pieces of plastic are everywhere in the world that there is water. Instead of plastic breaking down into a million pieces to eventually be a part of the many trash ocean gyres, mankind has figured out a way to market and sell a product that is meant to impersonate the egg of practically every aquatic animal. If I were a fish or a bird, little aquatic eggs are the best treat in the world. It is with such moral fortitude that our society saw this diabolical imitation of nature as too disruptive to the order of life on earth. Thankfully, those in politics are listening to scientists regarding this atrocious joke on our natural world.
Not all consumer product pollution stories are a happy story. I would like to use up space in the blogosphere to explain why body wash and liquid soap containers are one of many trojan horses for the plastic industry in an increasingly more "progressive" world. I type "progressive" with quotes because the US National Park system has won a ban of plastic bottles in vending machines within parks and installed drinking water dispensers for your travel bottle. However, the plastic industry is pushing hard to repeal this ban. Also, preemptively banning plastic bag bans is becoming a fad in states like Wisconsin and Michigan. Last year's drop in energy prices has killed most recycling businesses. In a Trump presidency, I am just assuming that pretty much every natural resource extraction method on earth will receive a green light. Consequently, 20th century consumer logic is going to prevail in the leading consumer country of the word for a little longer. This is why I type "progressive". The pendulum of political science is technically progressive; but when compared with the term defined in science, a pendulum represents futility rather than progress. Political science "progress" is a relative term. In good old science, "progress" is an absolute. As I continue my rant, I would like to invoke the scientific definition of "progressive" when discussing the improvement of consumer product packaging.
In the 21st century, I expect corporations to "progress" by minimizing their mining and waste footprint and experiment with some more responsible cradle to grave techniques. In this light, I would like to see the industry reveal a sleek bathroom dispenser and supply replacement liquid soap in biodegradable containers. I know these dispensers exist, they just need to be popularized. Instead, the 20 oz bodywash shower gels are contained in very thick, robust plastic tanks. They are not called tanks, I am merely calling the containers 'tanks' for dramatic effect. Regardless, it is clear that the packaging is such to protect from a potential messy spill. I am sure reams of product licensing language is devoted to the justification of this robust packaging. The landfills of our consumer society are filling up with different types of consumer waste each subsequent decade. Are we now depositing the layer of disposable thick plastic containers?
Regardless of useless packaging, my biggest complaint stems from an instinct of conjecture. I believe the good old bar of soap is more efficient than the 20 oz bottle of bodywash shower gel. Needing much less packaging if any at all, the bar of soap delivers a long life of usefulness. Conversely, the bodywash tank needs to be tapped routinely to spread the lather around the body.
I hope someone reads this rant to test my theory. Please chime in here to let us know your results.
#plastic #Landfill #soap #microbeads #pollution #waterislife