Editor, The Messenger,

On Feb. 5, OU’s Sustainability Film Series gave us an advanced viewing of “The Story of Plastic”. Very informative. Extremely concerning…not least of which because of the development currently underway of a plastics making corridor along the Ohio River upstream of us. Millions of those living downstream will be at risk from this irrevocably invasive major project–not to mention the huge impacts and risks for locals near these operations and its many pipelines.

We already know that Ohio River water quality regulations are being “revisited” and one might ask, ‘…to ease this project’s inevitable pollution load?’. (One seeming example of this: in 2019 ORSANCO, the 70+ year old non-governmental agency overseeing water quality issues in the Ohio River, has changed its role in enforcement activities regarding pollutant control limits and those activities have been now been left to voluntary enforcement at the [governmental] states’ level).Given the strong push for this project by the plastics making industry and its powerful proponents, there are many groups and individuals working on many levels to try and stem the tide.

On an individual level, how can each of us effectively deal with the never-ending onslaught of plastics at every turn in our day-to-day lives? Is it also time for those who want to reduce single-use plastics in their own lives to consider expanding their resolutions to include like-others? Maybe our “plastics addiction” problem could benefit from some group support efforts. Perhaps a ‘Plastics Dependents Anonymous’ movement? Do we just want to leave reduction of plastic use to those bent on inundating all of us in the world with ever more, forever more? Personally, I dream of the day that those walking fashion runways will be sporting seemly looking pouches/bags for toting one’s dining-out reusable.

Carrie Gibbons

Athens resident

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