There isn't a single country in the world who does not know the effects of plastic. Plastic is the scourge of the Earth, choking rivers, murdering wildlife and floating in a massive sea island in the pacific known as the Great Garbage Patch. Everyone knows that plastic is the source of so much ruin and yet this substance is used for the most frivolous of reasons. Single-use plastic and micro-plastics are the biggest culprits and where these problems are the worst, it is a literal crime scene of utter carelessness and destruction at the hands of humankind.
Is it the individual's responsibility to remedy this bleak situation? When a family wants to spend and afternoon is sacred natural places and needs to bring with them provisions for their children and themselves, is it their fault that they leave behind piles of plastic waste from packaging? Individual responsibility should not be disregarded, and principles of "Leave the World better than you found it" should be in every nature lover's manual. The more one spends in nature and feels a part of nature, the desire to leave it better than you find it is increased. Although this responsibility is in the hands of people who find themselves in and are a part of nature, the responsibility of the individual is not central to the world's problem of ecosystems choked out by plastics.
Who, then bears responsibilities for these atrocities?
It is the producers of plastics, the marketing departments of multinational corporations, the EXECUTIVES sitting high above everyone else, as the plebian class makes their way at ground level as ants! These few, who are the true slaves of the systems that they have created to maintain their high status and their ultra-lavish lifestyles, who many of us foolishly adore and wish to be.
EXECUTIVES who squeeze out every possible currency amount for their own benefit and leave a wake a death and destruction in their paths.
This idea is hardly novel, yet continues to be true every passing day.
It is the executives that have forgotten the divine and have assumed the role for themselves, with total willful ignorance and pride that the divine also sustains their needs just as the poverty-stricken. How horribly merciful one must feel towards these characters that have lost every path in life except for the path of greed.
Even as death comes to claim them as it does to everything living.
Can the individual fix this problem? My answer is probably not, not matter how well intentioned, intelligent and kind these individuals that come to save us are. A simple observation of countless environmental organizations, wildlife foundations, sustainability summits, climate legislation and yet we still walk on this path of destruction? It doesn't make any sense at all. Again, the individual may not shirk the responsibility in the face of this desperate futility, as the power of one is as potent as the power of the billions.
Then who can fix this problem? First, we must trust in nature to fix its own problems. This may come in many forms that are unpleasant for humanity, and many we see on a regular basis. The reestablishment of balance in ecosystems comes with great suffering and costs. Are we collectively willing to bear these costs?
Although engineering and biomimicry can offer tempting solutions to these problems, these too must be approached with a weary and critical eye. Many people who set out to save this world have easily contributed to its destruction with endless and unforeseen unintended consequences. These are consequences that the children of this generation are paying for. Microbiology and Mycology are two fields of study only recently better understood that would be tempting to insert the disturbing human hand and stack more problems on many others. The greedy masters will be eager to exploit anything that they could see currency exchange.
TRUST IN NATURE AND ENCOURAGE NATURAL PROCESSES. The Taoist principles of doing nothing may be the best course of action here. Perhaps we should cease intervention, we should let things take their natural course, we should rehabilitate and reclaim the destruction caused to whatever extent is possible and then let everything be as it is. Let the wildlife and wild lands go through a therapy not at the hands of humanity. Hasn't nature had enough humanity as it is? As for the humans, the more we learn to love nature and natural processes, the less we toil and serve these high up masters and then learn to trust our own sense of natural wonder and our place in the natural world, then perhaps we will see the results in a lifetime or maybe a few.
At some point soon, we may not have any other choice.