This blog wishes it be known that the opinions presented herein are the sole responsibility of the author, and do not represent the feelings, opinions, ideas, or conclusions of any affiliated organization or group. Additionally, the author has chosen to keep the blog confidential during the Olympic Games 2008, as the reaction of the PRC towards foreign opinion remains ungauged. Thanks for reading.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
August -- The Futures Present Opinion: Cheap Plastic Color
Borrowing from the acronym that represents the leading political party in China, the title of this article will discuss the general pervasiveness of plastics in the PRC.
As the rain came down on Wednesday's Tennis venue, boxes of rainbow-colored rain ponchos were distributed among the many thousands of spectators at Beijing's Outdoor venues. While the sight proved to be quite and aesthetically humorous one, the deeper implications of this sort of behavior are a problem in China and other parts of the world.
In January of 2008 China passed policy limiting the use, sale, and manufacture of plastic bags in the nation. A nation wide surcharge for plastic bags was mandated, a tactic recently employed in some U.S. states and EU nations, and the manufacture of some types of bag was completely outlawed. The reason behind these policies is the basic chemical composition of plastics and its inherent resistance to degradation. Plastic has a general lifespan of many thousands of years, thus making it a Futures Image in and of itself.
However, the longevity of its chemical composition does not transfer to the usefulness of the products that are made out of it, and these many thousands of ponchos being donned at the Olympics, and everywhere else in the world that happens to see the occasional rain storm, are a perfect statement to that fact. For about 80 cents (US), two ponchos (alternatively viewed as human sized plastic bags) were purchased at a nearby corner store. With in five minutes of being worn, they were already showing stress marks, and one of the plastic snaps had begun to tear. It was obvious that these were not meant to last as rain guards, but no collection measures were in place to ensure their recycle either.
This is not an Olympic specific problem, but it does constitute an Olympic sized issue for our consideration.
For more information concerning the Production, Use and Impact of plastic bags please refer to the following pages.
JUNKRAFT -- from California to Hawaii on your plastics
Wikipedia -- Plastic Shopping Bags
Alternate Views on the Threat of Plastic Bags:
Times Online : Non-Threat