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This is part 11 of Stiv Wilson's tour to better understand how plastic ends up in the ocean. Read the previous installments here.

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This is part 10 of Stiv Wilson's tour to better understand how plastic ends up in the ocean. Read the previous installments here.

Did you know all chewing gum is made of plastic? Yup, even the "natural" stuff. If you look at the ingredients, you’ll see poly vinyl acetate listed. This was the discovery of one of Beth Terry’s FakePlasticFish blog readers. Terry researched the claim to death and sure enough, she found it to be true: you’re chewing minty fresh plastic.

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This is part nine of Stiv Wilson's tour to better understand how plastic ends up in the ocean. Read the previous installments here.

Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang met on the beach: Two artists, from two different walks of life, find each other collecting plastic flotsam on California’s Kehoe Beach over a decade ago. As if it's fated, they fall in love.

Visiting with them at their house, which doubles as a studio, I’m blown away by there beach plastic collection. Typically, beach plastic nerds have big, nasty piles all over the place—but not the Langs. It’s like a curiosity shop of garbage organized in jars and displayed with a curator’s eye. As I survey all the stuff they've collected, Richard pulls a little flat plastic stick from a pile and asks me if I know what it is.

At first, I’m puzzled, but then it dawns on me: "It’s one of those little cheese spreader thingies for those Kraft cheese and cracker snack packs." Richard smiles. They have piles of them. Piles. It's bizarre to think that this one distinct plastic item is so prevalent in the ocean that one could have a collection of them. After spending a month talking about dead birds and poisoned oceans, I find this little plastic cheese spreader particularly despairing.

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