This word will likely be added to the dictionary in the upcoming decade.
The way we define it...
Plasticxiety: the mental and physical stress brought on by the acknowledgment of the over-use and over-production of toxic and harmful plastics.
Do you ever go to the grocery store and look at the copious amounts of plastic on the shelves? The bottles, the cartons, the cellophane wrap, etc. Then, do you ever zoom yourself out over the city you are in, and see this amount of plastic multiply 100-fold, and then the country, and then the hemisphere?!?! Maybe? Maybe not? Well, we do, and it is part of what has driven us into business.
Simply put, it is a lot, and too much plastic. If you haven't been living on another planet for the past decade, you likely have heard of or have personally felt the disastrous implications that the plastic industry and it’s consumers has been causing. The toll that forever lasting plastics has on our environment and ecosystems is disastrous, and unfortunately, a lot of first world people do not see this first hand, and therefore do not always see the urgency to take action.
The best-known example of the repercussions of non-recyclable, non-degradable plastic waste is the Great Pacific Gyre, which is also known as the trash vortex. This island of debris spans the West coast of North America all the way to Japan. A gyre is defined as a large system of swirling ocean currents, and in this case, a natural phenomenon that has created a very sad and unnatural island of garbage. Though this gyre formation is defined as a conglomerate of “trash”, plastic is the largest culprit for its existence. Plastic does not biodegrade, and if it does wear down, it disintegrates into smaller non-degradable micro particles, which are then free to enter the sensitive foundation of the marine ecosystem. Once plastics are present at the base of marine life, it is a large problem as they will bioaccumulate through the food chain, which is a whole other issue. Unfortunate to say, but this problem of plastic pollution and interruption of nature is one that is ever increasing. We now even hear about sailors who are reporting a disturbing amount of plastic they see on their adventures in the big open sea. Not good.
Besides the Great Pacific Gyre, another very well known example of horrific plastic pollution is the worshiped Indian River, known as the Ganges River. This River in India is one that is cherished and worshiped by it’s people, and is also an existing water source. Unfortunately, this river links plastic waste from land to ocean. The plastic that ends up in this river is due to its overproduction and consumption, no alternate affordable materials, and poverty. Dependency on plastic has become increasingly tremendous, but we have nowhere to responsibly dispose of it.
Present day photos of the single use plastics really do put things into perspective, and should definitely incentivize us to work on using reusable, realistically recyclable or biodegradable materials in our day to day lives. Don’t be a person who is contributing to these disasters.
Of course, there is work being done of cleaning up these (un)natural disasters, but the root of the problem is currently not being halted, which will not make it easy.
So even though it is not a good feeling, we hope you can now understand what we mean by Plasticxiety, and that you can choose a number of actions to take in your daily life to help fix this problem. Pack your lunch everyday and save money, use a reusable water bottle where the water is safe to drink, find biodegradable alternatives to daily throw away products (there are so many options).
There is so much we can all do, and as we like to say: “if a lot of people make a small difference, big change happens”. The power of numbers is incredible.
It is such a good feeling to know you haven’t done anything to damage the earth today.
- Architect's Daughter