Randy Blythe: We Need To Find Alternatives To The Plastics That Are Killing Our Oceans
I don’t think people really understand the issue of plastics. Like most people who live by the coast, I tend to be a little bit more aware of the environmental impact of plastic. We see it on our beaches. I travel and I surf constantly. But in other places where there’s not as much recycling or dumping regulations, you just see trash on the fucking beach. It’s everywhere, and a lot of it is plastic.
There’s also a lot of plastic that you can’t see; micro-plastic, they call it. It’s where larger pieces of plastic break down into smaller pieces that are between one and three millimetres in size. Microplastics are basically invisible to the naked eye, but they’re there and they’re entering the food chain. Fish eat them, the bigger fish eat those fish and so on…
Out in the Pacific there are these giant fucking floating islands made of plastic. It’s easy to go on YouTube and see this. If you look around you, wherever you are, you can see endless amounts of plastic. It’s all-pervasive in our society.
I also don’t know if people understand where it comes from. Plastic is made from petroleum, or at least 95 per cent of it is. So eventually petroleum and oil is going to run out, because it’s a fossil fuel. It takes millions and millions of years for organic matter to compress down and become coal and oil. So we don’t have that kind of time because humanity is multiplying at such a rapid and exponential rate that we’re consuming more and more and more energy.
It’s a non-sustainable product and it kind of drives me crazy when people stick their head in the sand about this. We need to move away from using petroleum for A) fuelling everything, and B) building everything.
So what’s going to happen when all the oil and stuff is gone? We’re not going to have anything to make stuff out of plastic, and we’re not going to have anything to fuel our vehicles. It would make sense to start seriously looking for clean alternatives right now. Solar, wind, that kind of thing. That’s purely from a pragmatic level. From an environmental level, this is pretty catastrophic.
On my way out to California I read an article about a woman who paddle-boarded the length of England and everywhere she went she took pictures of the plastic in the waterways. And it created a spark; people took notice. So there is awareness; it’s just a question of building on that awareness.
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