Really thinking about plastic

Plastic: useful, convenient, ubiquitous, ugly, persistent . . .

My son reminded me of the daunting presence of plastic when he took this photo of a whale made of plastic found in the ocean.

Beauty crafted out of refuse in Bruges, Belgium.

Art installation - Whale made out of plastic found in the ocean

The art of my friend’s daughter, Jennifer MacLatchy, makes me think about the terrible beauty of plastic. She makes art out of what she gathers from the Atlantic Ocean near her Nova Scotia home.

It reminded me of the plastic we found on my Habitat for Humanity Global Village trip to Bolivia six years ago. I wrote a post then about an imagined future world where our descendants wallow in our discarded plastic grocery bags. Read it here: Paper, not plastic.

piles of plastic garbage found on construction site


I’ve been really thinking about plastic and the price we pay for its terrible beauty.

How do I use it now? How could I change how I use it and recycle it?

There are other ways. There are better ways.

2 thoughts on “Really thinking about plastic

  1. marianbeaman

    Last week I saw a Facebook posting of the ugly and ubiquitous effects of plastic, piles of it washed up on a beach. I don’t think there are enough artists to fashion the cast-off stuff into art. Still, the art is beautiful and a good reminder to re-cycle. I take reusable bags to the grocery store all the time and recycle what I can’t prevent coming my way. Great post, Arlene!

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      Thanks. It would be difficult to live without plastic. Mindfulness of how we use it, when we can use something else instead and how we recycle it is becoming more and more important all the time, though.


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