Ben Franklin once said that “in this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” Since his time, however, the world has seen the emergence of another certainty: polystyrene pollution.
Polystyrene, better known as styrofoam, never decomposes. The foam cups that we mindlessly use for a quick drink will likely outlast mankind.
The cartoon titled “Plastics in the ocean” (The Astorian, June 27) puts the problem of plastic pollution in a sobering light. Two castaways remark that soon they, like Jesus, will be able to walk on water, not due to a miracle, but a disaster. Our so-called civilization continues to pump plastic into the ocean with no intention of slowing down.
The problem, though, extends further than the cartoon suggests. Plastics do not remain in the whole state depicted in the cartoon; they break into smaller pieces that wildlife then ingest, threatening the lives of all marine animals. If we have any intention of preserving our planet, we need to cut off the plastic tap by getting rid of the worst forms of plastic pollution, starting with single-use polystyrene foam.
The styrofoam already created will not leave the face of the earth. Only by stopping now can we ensure that no more will join its ranks.