Is recycling out of sight out of mind?

Dear Editor,

I doubt that notably less plastic waste will occur even a decade from now, particularly when –regardless of ocean divers’ reports of the immense tangled messes – so much of it is not immediately observable (i.e. out of sight, out of mind).

It doesn’t surprise me, as general human mentality collectively allows us to, amongst other forms of blatant pollution, throw non-biodegradable garbage down a dark chute like we’re safely dispensing it into a black-hole singularity.

And then there’s the astonishing short-sighted selfishness.

I observed this last year when a local TV news reporter randomly asked a young Vancouver man wearing large, dark sunglasses what he thought of government restrictions on disposable plastic straws.

“It’s like we’re living in a nanny state, always telling me what I can’t do,” he recklessly retorted.

Astonished by his shortsightedness, I wondered whether he’d be the same sort of individual who’d likely have a such a grand sense of entitlement that he’d deliberately dump a whole box of unused straws into the Georgia Strait just to stick it to the authorities and flip them a figurative middle finger with a closing, ‘There! How d’ya like that, pal!”

People like this are continuing to dump massive amounts of plastics into our oceans, which are unable to defend themselves against people who feel the need to assert self-granted sovereignty over the natural environment regardless of what governments or society says.

No wonder so much gratuitous plastic waste eventually finds its way into our life-filled oceans, where there are few, if any, caring souls to see it.

Frank Sterle Jr.

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