Disposable Containers for a Disposable Environment

Disposable Containers for a Disposable Environment
As society goes through its day-to-day activities, it consumes an enormous amount of liquids. Of course, those liquids are packaged in various types of apparatuses, many of which are disposable. But disposable to whom? ?Out of sight-out of mind,? maybe? Granted, disposable and throwaway containers are a convenience for the moment, but they are rapidly becoming a devastating eye sore. Disposable bottles and cans invite enormous hazards to the environment.
Disposable containers create unsightly neighborhoods and countryside. While driving this weekend, I counted 28 Dr. Pepper bottles and 14 Diet Coke cans in a 2½-mile span of roadway. Our neighborhoods and countryside are being plagued daily by enormous amounts of empty bottles and cans. People don?t think twice about pitching their empties out of the car window. An uncaring attitude is taking over society. Although Coca-Cola seems to be reaping the benefits of our fast-paced, thirsty society, our beautiful land is not so lucky. On Saturdays, I see Boy Scout Troop 99 picking up trash using separate sacks for the bottles and the cans. By noon, their total bottle and can collection for a one-mile radius generally fills about 17 large garbage bags. Obviously, this is proof that these disposable bottles and cans are destroying the beauty of our neighborhoods. Another example I have encountered is the ugliness presented on Highway 66 between Luther and Wellston. Again, it is common to see paper sacks full of bottles and cans thrown to the side of the road. Subsequently, the bottles break in pieces over the side of the highway, threatening flat tires for the motorists. Playgrounds are demolished by cans left behind after picnics on Sunday afternoons. Parks have been invaded by party groups too lazy to hit the trash cans. Instead, glass is broken and left behind for others to deal with. In addition to blemishing our neighborhoods and countrysides, disposable bottles and cans cause hazards to the wildlife.

Disposable bottles and cans result in tremendous dangers to wildlife in our environment. For the buyer?s convenience, throwaway cans are packaged using connected plastic rings to hold the cans in a six-pack. But this packaging method is anything but a convenience to our wildlife. Instead, the plastic rings yield tremendous dangers to our lake and pond wildlife. Ducks, geese and many other types of water birds get tangled up in these plastic rings and struggle for hours to break free. The result is death to these precious creatures. Some time ago, Channel 5 in Oklahoma City reported a story of a mallard duck that had gotten its neck stuck in one of the plastic rings of a disposable six-pack. Rescuers from the zoo and Animal Welfare Department worked for nearly 13 hours to free the bird. Finally, the task was accomplished, and the bird was set free with little damage. But most birds are not that lucky. Disposable bottles and cans pose an equally important hazard to animals on land. Our rural highways are cluttered with broken bottles and torn metal cans which cause extensive damage to rabbits, coyotes, and deer living adjacent to these roadways. The animals cut themselves on the glass and metal. In addition, many animals are scavengers and will eat almost anything, including the harmful broken pieces of glass and metal. The sweet taste remaining from the evaporated liquid content is a dangerous temptation to hungry animals. Finally, a third hazard presented by throwaway bottles and cans is agricultural pollution.

Disposable bottles and cans exemplify devastating agricultural risks to the environment. At the risk of repeating a cliche, ?we are what we eat.? And our beef cattle are eating the residue of bottles and cans carelessly being disposed of on the grazing lands. Bottles and cans are tossed by negligent motorists into wheat fields and pasturelands. Later the land is tilled, the bottles and cans become part of the land, and the waste and toxins are distributed into the soil. Our wheat is grown from this soil, and our cattle graze on grasses raised on this soil. Obviously, our grains and beef are slowly becoming less healthy. In addition, our lakes are rapidly being polluted by boaters who thoughtlessly pitch their bottles and cans overboard. The Oklahoma City Lake Patrol reports a definite problem keeping boater polluting under control. The penalties for this act are stiff but difficult to enforce. Many of these lakes are used as primary sources of drinking water. Although the water is processed and filtered, the trash is contributing to higher costs of filtration. Likewise, streams are filled with empty cans and bottles, and eventually these streams pour into the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, the Gulf is being trashed with bottles and cans, having a definite damaging effect on our seafood production. Thus, seafood becomes more costly and ultimately is not as healthy as it could be if the Gulf were not polluted.

Sadly enough, our society has done little to alleviate the deadly dangers of cast aside bottles and cans. It seems the beauty of our neighborhoods and countryside is no longer an important factor to our society. Furthermore, the wildlife must inhabit unnecessarily evil surroundings brought on by mankind. Our society cannot afford to take any more agricultural risks. Our children to come will have to endure the ugliness of broken glass and empty soft drink and beer cans that people today carelessly leave behind.

Disposable Containers for a Disposable Environment 7 of 10 on the basis of 1778 Review.