The significance of this serious polluter could be correlated to the metaphor of the artisan and his tools. Because to be quite honest with you, the labelling of all forms of plastics – but perhaps with some serious exceptions – as the world’s worst pollutant or polluter is scurrilous, unfair, inaccurate, perhaps even dishonest. Existing plastics, no longer required, no longer in use, have been converted and compacted to plastic lumber.

recycled plastic lumber

The plastic lumber is then transformed into recycled plastic lumber. And recycled plastic lumber is then distributed to forward-thinking and forward planning entrepreneurs, business innovators, designers and manufacturers who then go on to re-use the recycled plastic. Take this as a symbol. Three characters. A single letter usurped from the English language’s twenty-four letters that begins with A.

And ends with Z. The significant letter is R. Multiply that by three and you get RRR. It translates to Recycle – Re-use – Renew. This principled symbolism applies not only to plastic but to all other forms of materials in everyday human use. And in this latter case, you arrive at the metaphor alluded to earlier. The tools. And its user. This could be handheld tools in a workshop. It could be operational machinery on a factory floor.

And in the twenty-first century setting, it certainly is hardware and software and all the products that take full advantage thereof. It could even be busses, planes and trains. Even spacecraft. The old saying goes thus. The tools are good. But they are only as good as their users. And so it goes with plastics. Plastics should not be blamed for high carbon levels in the atmosphere. It should not be blamed for the serious damage being done to the world’s oceans and its creatures.

Blame humankind.