Global Consumption of Plastic

Pam Longobardi is an artist and activist and a professor at Georgia State University. She is also a professor at Oceanic Society’s Artist-In-Nature. Pam founded the Drifters Project in 2006. After hitting a plastic mountain, the ocean erupted on a remote Hawaiian beach. As part of the Drifters project, she collects, documents, installs, and transforms marine plastics into photos. This piece is a visual representation of the engine of global consumption and the huge number of plastic items and their impact on some of the world’s most remote places and creatures.

Longobardi is the recipient of the Margie E. West Prize. This is a prize given out annually to an alumni of the Lamar Dodd School of Art. She was invited to create a new display at the Marjorie E. West Gallery.

As you can see in this picture, the size of this piece is absolutely massive. These are just a few of the items they have found round the world in even the most remote places. Imagine the amount of plastic items they have found in heavily populated areas of the world. Probably millions of these pieces could be made. It’s so interesting to see artwork made out of a global problem we have nowadays. It really sheds a light to how much us as people of this world waste and either don’t dispose of it properly, or do dispose of it properly it just doesn’t have anywhere to go. This piece specifically by Pam Longobardi is called “Bounty, Pilfered.”

As you can see here, this video, Watch the National Geographic‘s video, shows Pam creating a piece of artwork made from plastic found on the Alaskan coast.

This piece above comes in at 12 ft by 8 ft. It uses 627 pieces of ocean plastic from Hawaii, Alaska, Costa Rica, California, Greece, Indonesia, Belize, Panama, Alabama and Georgia.

Shown here are just a few of the pieces Longobardi and colleagues have worked on. These pieces really capture the seriousness of plastic pollution, while enticing the audience looking at the piece and making it attractive looking. When making artwork, I think it’s especially important to make it look attractive. Especially if you’re trying to send a message to the audience, you should make your artwork colorful and attractive so it catches the audiences eyes. Once it catches their eyes, they can read the description about it off to the side at the exhibition and learn more about plastic solution and why it’s such a big and prevalent problem in the world today.

Plastic Straws? Think about the Paws!

Plastic straws are used every single day by billions of people. Now, although they are bad for the environment and harm the animals, citizens of the world seem to not care. As long as they can sip their drink without a care in the world, they’re all for plastic straws. Plastic straws are actually extremely toxic to the environment. Plastic straws are made from polypropylene. The other materials they’re made out of plastic resin, colorants, and other additives. In order to make a plastic straw, the plastic resin and other materials and mixed together, and then the mixture is made into a tube shape. After this, the straws go under specialized operations. After this, they are packaged and ready to be sold. Plastic straws are a one use item, which is why they’re so toxic to the environment. Typically when straws are thrown away they end up in landfills. After landfills, the wind usually carries them to either oceans or rivers affecting marine life. The environmental impacts of plastic straws are astonishing. Plastic straws are no biodegradable so insects and bacteria can’t consume them so they don’t go away like for example paper does. It could take straws up to 200 years to biodegrade. Plastic straws are also hard to recycle and are the seventh most collected item plastic items found. Since plastic straws are light, they fly away easily, making them go to places they’re not supposed to be. Plastic straws are also harmful to ocean wildlife. It was estimated that about 800 species in the ocean are affected by the ocean plastic pollution and that about 100,000 marine life animals die every year because of it. The social impacts of this include many people around the world taking action to ban plastic straws. We are in complete control of these impacts because ultimately we are the ones choosing to use these straws. Some assumptions I’ve made are that plastic straws aren’t that bad for the environment but in reality they are and it’s so easy for us to stop using them but we keep using them anyways.

Plastic Straws

The last straw: In N.J., single-use plastic straws to be provided by food  businesses upon request only starting Nov. 4 ⋆ Princeton, NJ local news %

Consumer Product Analysis- Plastic Utensils

Sakshi Kaikini

Throughout my days, I use a lot of plastic. I use plastic all day everyday and a lot of it is disposable so after I use it once, I throw it away. The main focus I’m going to talk about today is plastic utensils. Being at college, the dining hall food isn’t the best. My roommates and I go to the grocery store about two times a month and we use plastic utensils in our dorm room because it’s the most convenient thing to do for us. Plastic utensils are usually made out of two different types of plastic, polypropylene and polystyrene. All plastics are made out of monomers and they go through a process called polymerization.

Plastic utensils are then usually put into big packs of spoons, knives, and forks and put into plastic boxes and distributed to grocery stores and such. I use the plastic utensils only to eat once so I’ll use them for about 15 minutes and then throw them away. There’s no other energy or maintenance needed to use this product other than eating food with it. Plastic utensils are usually not recyclable because of what they’re made out of which really is terrible for the environment. Even if you recycle them, they usually can’t be turned into anything else so you might as well throw them into the garbage. I throw them in the garbage anyways because in our room we only have a trash can and no recycling bin. Plastic utensils usually end up in landfills or in waterways so they’re extremely toxic towards the environment. They also can’t be recycled because they’re too contaminated, too lightweight, and just too small in general. There are some simple ways to lower the toxicity of plastic utensils. Simply don’t use them. Although it sounds so simple, plastic utensils are so convenient it takes a lot to not use them. When you’re eating on the go or simply don’t want to do dishes. There has been a trend going on for a while now about either bringing your own water bottle everywhere (ie. Hydroflask) or carrying your own metal straws every tp better the environment. I’m hoping it will because a trend to start taking your own metal cutlery everywhere but it is a big hassle and I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

We are in control of it and it’s ultimately our decision if we want to usr plastic utensils or not. Some assumptions I made before looking more deeply into plastic utensils is that they are recyclable. They are in fact not recyclable and I will not be using them anymore. We do dishes sometimes and although they’re a hassle just knowing that they simply cannot be recycled is a big turnoff. Some uncertainties I still have is why haven’t we made plastic utensils that are easy to recycle? Plastic utensils are so prevalent in todays society and I’m surprised we haven’t found a better alternative.

Plastic Knives, Plastic Spoons, Plastic Forks in Stock - ULINE

How Are Plastics Made?




The Easiest but Hardest Changes

Sakshi Kaikini

When you think about living plastic-free, you think oh ‘easy peasy.’ In reality, that’s not necessarily the case. As we live our day to day lives, we use so much plastic daily and we don’t even notice it. As many of us have a daily routine, we use the same one time use products a lot. When we get used to a product we use the same one for a while and don’t like to change it. For instance, when you’re going to the store to get tampons fro example, you will most likely go for the Tampex ones you grab every time that are the cheapest and most convenient. Although the cardboard tampons would be the best choice for the environment, they are a lot more expensive and you’re not used to them so you normally wouldn’t reach for them.

After being in this FYE, Swimming in Plastic Soup, I have quickly how much our country and world takes for granted and how we are ruining the Earth or futures are going to be living on. We keep on using plastic and materials than take hundreds and some thousands of year to decompose and just sit on Earth and ultimately end up hurting the poor environment and wild life that don’t deserve what we do to them. Considering that, I’d be extremely willing to make multiple changes to my lifestyle to help the environment. Even though I barely affect the worlds plastic footprint, I feel like I’m still making a difference.

As I went to the grocery story I looked at the list I made last week and looked at some items I knew I could replace, and some I knew I couldn’t. One item I knew I absolutely could not replace is tampons. I’m so used to the Tampex brand of tampons and they are about $7.30 from Target for 36. I found a brand of cardboard tampons that are most definitely better for the environment but they were $7 for 18. That’s basically the same price but I’d be getting half the amount. Although it might not seem like a big difference, over the months and years, the prices add up. I do think that all women should be given free healthcare products but that’s a whole different story.

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I used to buy individual bottles of water from the store, individual bags of Cheez-Itz and individually packaged makeup wipes. I substituted them all for a gallon jug of water, a big box of Cheez-It’z, and a bigger pack of makeup wipes. The thing about plastic is it’s so easy and efficient. With my water bottles, individual bags of Cheez-Itz and my individual packaged makeup wipes, they were so easy to take on the go. All though I have to pour the gallon jug into a reusable water bottle, pour Cheez-It’z into a reusable container, and take the makeup wipes everywhere I go, it honestly wasn’t even bad. Although it was a little bit annoying having to take those extra steps when I’m leaving my room, I’m still making an effect on my plastic footprint and it made me feel a lot better. I will be continuing to purchase these items because ultimately they are saving a lot of plastic than the items I was buying before. Cheez-It Cheese Crackers, Baked Snack Crackers, Office and Kids Snacks, Original, 30oz Bag (30 Packs)Cheez-It Cheese Crackers, Baked Snack Crackers, Original, 28oz Box, 2 Ct -

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Some advice I have to other contemplating changing their items they use is to try it once. Try it once, see if it’s bearable. Although it might be weird at the beginning it will make your conscience a lot better knowing you are lowering your plastic footprint. We live here, on Earth, and we need to start treating her right. And the first step for us is to use less and less plastic.

The Terrifying Reality of Plastic

Sakshi Kaikini

While going through my days, I never actually realize how wasteful I am. I go through my days using plastic utensils and throwing them away later simply because I’m too lazy to to wash reusable utensils. But is my laziness adding to my plastic footprint  and actually making a negatively impacted difference? Yes, yes it is. While I was collecting the disposable items I use throughout one day I was astonished by the amount of plastic I use once and throw away.

A majority of the disposable items are thing I use on the daily. For example:

  • plastic utensils
  • plastic plate and bowl
  • q-tips
  • individual flossers
  • ziploc bags
  • plastic water bottles

Every single one of these items I use on the daily and throw them away when I’m done using them. Some of these items can be reused, but they’re so easy to get and replace, your first instinct is to just throw it away.

I don’t think this one day of seeing all of the plastic materials I use accurately represent my plastic footprint because it’s only one day out fo every single day I’ve lived. Every single day I do something different and use different things and some days I use more plastic materials and some days I use less. This differs from my plastic footprint because my overall plastic footprint is a lot more than what I used in one day and it involves a lot more plastic materials.

As I walk around campus I don’t think there is a certain location dedicated to recycling, which is really unfortunate for our schools. Although throughout various buildings we have small bins saying what to throw where, usually students either don’t know where to throw something or are in a hurry and throw recyclable things into the trash. These eventually end up in landfills and then drift away into our oceans and lakes and whatnot, affecting wild and marine life in a negative way.

The ocean is swimming in plastic and it's getting worse – we need connected  global policies now

College of Charleston needs to implicate more recycling centers so we can efficiently recycle our plastics. In our dorm halls there is no place to recycle anything. There are only big trash bins on every floor and even if you have a trash bag full of recyclable stuff you have to throw it away because there’s no where else to dispose of it. As I sit here I am just incredibly disappointed because this is our world, our Earth, and us humans are ultimately limiting out years on Earth. We’re affecting ourselves, animals, our future and everything in between. Although we’re only  a small college on the coast of South Carolina, there’s about 15,000 people here to be accounted for. If every person only used one piece of plastic a day, that would still be 15,000 pieces of plastic going to the trash EVERY DAY. Myself, I used about 35 pieces of plastic in one given day and for me to not be able to recycle it in my dorm room because I don’t have the ability to is incredibly sad and frustrating.

Recycle Bins: Types, Colors and How it Helps the Environment | Conserve  Energy Future

When looking Beth Terry’s ‘Guilt is Not Encouraged,’ although we should try and limit our plastic use, comparing ourselves to others is only going to make it worse. All we should focus on is bettering ourselves rather than focusing on how your plastic use is doing compared to someone else.