Letter to editor: Plastics; Over-Engineered Products of Convenience Out-of-Control

parsippany focus

parsippany focusDear Editor:

Parsippany Council needs to support by resolution the pending State legislation now being proposed in the Senate No.2776 and the Assembly as No.4330. An Act concerning plastic carryout bags, expanded polystyrene food service products, and plastic straws, and supplementing Title 13 of the revised Statutes.

When it comes to plastic waste and pollution it appears the free market lost control of itself in the over promotion without proper foresight or consumer protections Concerning the impacts that have occurred and are exponentially progressing; as now rather than less plastic being produced more is being made. This is as if no one sees or wants to see the obvious trash and litter phenomena; it would not be inappropriate to refer to this plastic plaque as a form of climate change in its magnitude locally and worldwide. At the very least as plastic is a petroleum derivative product we may see it as a form of oil spill escaping into our American and Planetary landscapes, waterways and oceans.

The only hope of bringing this phenomenon under control is strict common sense laws of disallowing further product productions and sales of this harmful substance. We must combine this legislation with the realization that humans lacking conscience discipline, and being encouraged to consume in a free market society of thoughtlessness; but for “corporate” enticement for profits that lack and evade responsibility for the results of these unnecessary and overly engineered convenience products must come to an end for the benefit of all.
 The ban must however be in unison with media attention to the magnitude of the problem and encouragement and promotion of “conscience disciple” in our own behaviors in resource separation and good sanitation practices. The other element would be an absolute effort in enforcements of the codes and rules in sanitation recycle laws. Those not complying in aspects of best practices and clean community principles must suffer the consequence, until change occurs.
The State law rather than local municipal ordinances is definitely the only possible remedy, too many weak links of others not passing similar laws would make it difficult. This way municipalities invoking supremacy law principals can have more clot in enforcements. In reality plastic bans require additional federal and worldwide laws forbidding production.

In the United States the largest consumer of any nation only 33% of all materials are recycled. Over 70% of the plastics go to waste in landfills, in New Jersey alone. (Not counting the litter).

Plastic never biodegrades but only breaks down into smaller micro-particles infecting our soils, water and actually entering the anatomy of plants, animals and humans. (especially the Polystyrenes or styrofoam).

Next time someone says God Bless America take a look around; is plastic a sign of this blessing?All of us should be alarmed and angry at what we see, and how it gets there. There may very well be more plastic debris cast upon Mother Earth than stars in the universe.

Nikolaus Hopstock
Lake Hiawatha, NJ 07034