The Plastic Resolution

"The amount of debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch accumulates because much of it is not biodegradable. Many plastics, for instance, do not wear down; they simply break into tinier and tinier pieces…" National Geographic

In 2014, I made the first New Year’s Resolution of my life: don't purchase Styrofoam. I had a few mis-steps, but all-in-all it was pretty easy, so I've upped my game for 2015 – I’m single-use plastic free. Except I’m not. This is a whole new ball game and I am ill-prepared.

On January 2, I loaded up a cart full of sandwich fixings and snacks for eight people to cover a week of lunches on the ski slopes. It wasn’t until the checker started filling plastic bag after plastic bag that I remembered the resolution I'd made the day before. Oops. Super-fail number one. Nowhere to go but up.

My goal is to purchase no single-use plastic, and my hope is to do it mainstream. I’m not planning to bake bread and milk a cow. I just want to make different choices at the grocery store.

And everywhere else I go, as it turns out. My first Friday night out, I was focused on my goals. I peeked through the window of the local oyster bar and spotted gumbo in a bread bowl. Yes! Order a bottled beer and I'm home free. But the gumbo arrived with a plastic spoon. I forgot to check silverware – my bad.


Hoochie's Gumbo

And my husband ordered a beer on tap that arrived in a plastic cup, but it’s not his New Year's Resolution, so what’re ya gonna do? Kudos to Hoochie’s Oyster Bar though: their to-go containers looked to be biodegradable, and I'm pretty sure their water was served in biodegradable plastic cups.


Plastic on tap

Then on to see some live music. My husband and I shared a beer that we knew came in a glass. Then I ordered a margarita. It came in a plastic cup with a straw. Damn it. Plastic cups during the show – I should know that! This resolution is not going well so far.


Margarita during the show

Joan Wells