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  • Jen Johnson

Plastic: Innovation or Devastation?


Try for a moment imagining a world without plastic. What would life look like? What would be different? Think about restaurants and gas stations. Think about your junk drawer at home. Think about your wardrobe… The buttons on your coats and the cars that you drive. 1 million conveniences and 1 million necessities… All possible because of plastic.

AND NOW IMAGINE FOR A MOMENT A WORLD WHERE PLASTIC WAS NO LONGER MANUFACTURED.

What changes would you need to make today if plastic could no longer be manufactured or sold? What changes would need to be made if plastic was outlawed? Every once in a while you’ll hear talk of plastic bags at grocery stores being eliminated. Every so often you’ll hear about the amount of plastic bottles flushed into the streets in places like Haiti where freshwater is in short supply and so bottled water is given as a supplement. And truthfully, eliminating plastic bottles and plastic grocery bags would be a tremendous accomplishment.

BUT IT’S REALLY JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG.

Plastic, in all of its forms, truly is all around us. It’s in our hospitals and medical clinics. In every sport and every kitchen. It’s in the clothes that you wear and in the devices you’re using to read this article. Plastic is an integral part of our lives and the efforts to make plastic a thing of the past are probably, in complete transparency, rather arbitrary. Our world does not easily dispose of the things that make life easier… Or cheaper.

So go again to that world where there is no plastic. Whether plastic never existed or could no longer be manufactured – a world without plastic is hard to even wrap our heads around. We rely on it. We expect it. We need it.

BUT WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT?

At Filtrol, we are fully aware of the massive dependence our world has on plastic. And our goal is not to eradicate it from existence. Instead, it’s to make the world we live in is absolutely beautiful and untarnished as possible. It’s to give our children and their children and their children’s children’s children the same beauty that we get to experience whenever we hike the Superior Trail, swim in the ocean, or drink a glass of water or a microbrew. We’re not here to get rid of plastic. We are here so that our world knows how to live with it.

And that means we have to keep plastic from damaging our planet. We have to control our processes and our manufacturing standards so that we aren’t flushing billions of microfibers into freshwater sources. And we have to be responsible in our innovations. If we can do this, there is a chance that the existence of plastic can be an innovation without meaning total devastation.

But it’s in our hands to make the change.

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