Plastic Is Forever

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 22, 2010

It was an ISM…internet synchronicity manifestation. There was a much praised video about a plastic bag, that winds up in the Pacific Trash Vortex. The bag has a voice ( supplied by uberkraut Werner Herzog), and goes looking for it’s “maker” (silently played by an unknown actress).

The bag has a remarkable existence. First, it is used to carry tennis balls, then dog food, then to pick up the by product of dog food. This is remarkable in itself… the typical krogerbag, if it doesn’t get thrown away on arrival at home, will not be used for more than one chore. But this is a special bag.

After the secondary canine duty, the bag is thrashed. Somehow, it escapes from the municipal destination, and begins a wind propelled odyssey in search of “my maker”. After a while, it is on the beach, and the wind takes it into the ocean. It floats in the sea, has pieces bitten off my non nutrition conscious fish, and heads off for a legendary garbage nirvana.

Before long, the bag is in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. The GPGP is a bit north of Hawaii, and west of California. The bag movie was filmed in Wilmington, N.C. You should not think about this too long. At any rate, the bag is not happy in the GPGP, and moves on to greener pastures.

The next day, PG goes to a site called “Listserve”. The letterman of the day is “top ten places you don’t want to visit”. Number ten on the list is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. GPGP is either the size of Texas or twice the size of the lower 48. It is a collection of debris, largely plastic, from the world. It is held in place by something called a gyre, which is a place where swirling ocean currents bump up against each other. Greenpeace has a neat little visual that illustrates this.

A visit to google led to a trip to Wikipedia. There is an article at Wikipedia about GPGP that is an almost verbatim source for listverse. This takes recycling a bit too far. There is also a band called Pacific Trash Vortex.

Plastic is a petroleum by product, and has many benefits to our world. It’s durability is one of them, and also one of it’s negatives. (The fact that plastic is so cheap to make is another.) A plastic bag cast off into the environment simply does not disappear. Fish eat them, thinking it is good food, and die of starvation. (Does this affect the food chain?) While the film about the plastic bag is an exaggeration, the fact is that plastic is forever.

The vintage photographs are from the ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. The poster is from

4 Responses

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  1. bill said, on March 23, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    these photos are great.Ah the simplier times.When we only had to worry about Joe MCcarthy and ” The Red Plague”.Gas was 20 cents a gallon,Cars cost $2500 new and great ussed for $500.And you could walk down the street at night and not have to worry. And we were 20 years away from disco.Frank Sinatra was already doing rap and hip hop.

  2. Pacific Trash Vortex | Chamblee54 said, on March 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    […] and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. The poster is from This is a repost from three years ago. Very little has changed in the world of perpetual plastic pollution. It is […]

  3. Plastic Is Forever | Chamblee54 said, on March 9, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    This is a repost. […]

  4. Plastic Is Forever | Chamblee54 said, on March 28, 2020 at 5:33 am

    […] There was a much praised video

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