LETTERS: Up to consumers to demand change on single-use plastic

Editor:

Re: Drowning in a sea of single-use plastic, June 22.

I also have been struggling to eliminate the demon plastic from my life without depriving myself of practically everything.

In the process, I’ve had a few choice words for the evil manufacturers who put me in this impossible position in the first place. And for the myopic politicians who let them.

I hate it that I have no one to blame but myself.

Case in point: A friend encountered a woman in a checkout line who complained bitterly about the plastic packaging of her intended purchase. My pal looked her dead in the eye and replied, “They wouldn’t make it if we didn’t buy it.”

In a huff the woman turned away, plunked down her money, and stomped off clutching the offensive item as if her life depended on it.

That’s like me complaining about a bad stomach while I’m shovelling junk food down my throat. Or people yelling about pipelines while guzzling the oil and demanding the economy it supports.

Protest is important. It gets the word out. I used to walk into coffee shops and ask them, “Do you have anything remotely healthy?”

Now they do. I once stood in a supermarket shouting at a frozen mac and cheese: “48 per cent sodium? Are you insane?”

I bought it anyway, for evidence, or in case I felt suicidal or I met someone I wanted to bump off. But now we have sea salt, sodium-reduced, and – hooray – no salt at all.

Above all, our most powerful weapon is the dollar in our pocket. It is the consumer who causes pollution and it is the consumer who must fix it. Our need for more is choking the life out of planet Earth. If our beloved Terra dies, we die. It’s as simple as that.

I need to step up.

Maureen Kerr, South Surrey

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