It is very hard for evil to take hold of the unconsenting soul.

Ursla Le Guin (1929-2018)

A Wizard of Earthsea, 1968

Talking Rubbish (Plastic)

Recorded: June 19th, 2019


Now, this week we've been looking at the global plastic problem, but what do people really know about the issue? Well, we put that question to people around the world:

Talking Rubbish

Plastic waste is a huge problem around the world. But do people know how bad it is? We hit the streets to find out. How much plastic waste is out there?

"Probably hundreds of billions of tonnes."
"Billions of tonnes"
"Billions of tonnes?"
"Too much"
"A lot"
"I don't know the amount, but it must be a lot."

The plastic thrown away each year could circle the Earth four times.

"Will circle the Earth four times? As in like, if you keep it end to end? It can like... every year that's happening?
"Circle the Earth four times, that, that is too much."

How long does it take for plastic to break down?

"I think it takes 500 years, to break down."
I think it takes 1,000 years to break down."
"I think a million years."

"We're in crisis mode. It's not a joke. It's a really big problem."

"The amount we are talking with plastic these days, it's just not... surprising, unfortunately.

"I'm scared."

Plastic could take up to 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill. What are you doing to help reduce plastic waste?

"It's hard actually, to live a zero plastic life. Because, erh, see, the plastic bottle, the carry bags."
"I genererally just buy enough food for the week and try and limit what I throw away."
"I'm also trying my best to stop that. I hardly use plastic myself."
"I cannot say I'm not using plastic but, where I can avoid that, I'm avoiding this."

"I think it's a problem that needs to be tackled, on like, a governmental and, like, industry basis. So, I think it is a personal thing. You can make differences but it can't just be changed that way."


The video doesn't really answer the question about how much plastic is in the environment and given the variety of size, shape and density plastic comes in the notion of laying it end to end around the earth is pretty meaningless. In 2017 Americans were using more than enough plastic straws to circle the earth every day. According to an article at Ecoideaz only 9% of plastic has ever been recycled.and plastic straws take up to 200 years to breakdown. Styrofoam, on the other hand, can take up to one million years...

getfiles: Talking Rubbish (Plastic)

MP4: 82.06 mb