How to Help Plastic!

greenwash The greenwashers over at RecycleBank, a new marketing front that “rewards” its victims users by sending them more junk in exchange for swallowing corporate green shopping dogma and making tiny gestures with their old junk, are devoting a whole webpage to the topic of “how we can help plastic make a better impact.”

This tortured, whorish double-talk is of a piece with the rest of RecycleBank’s attempted assault on the public mind.

“There’s no denying that the invention and eventual widespread use of plastic was a major advance for society,” says RecycleBank, complete with a supporting weblink to “The Benefits of Plastic” on –wait for it — plasticsindustry.com!

After listing some beneficial uses of plastic, RecycleBank delivers the core proposition:

While a huge benefit of plastic is its durability, this very property is also sometimes a downside — some plastic takes centuries to break down, taking up more room in landfills for a longer time.

This, of course, is absolute malarkey.  The chief problem with plastics is not their durability, but their grossly excessive use as packaging by corporate capitalists.  Nobody denies that plastic has a place in the world.  What people are rightly concerned with is why there is so god-damned much of the stuff being heedlessly made and sold.

But that concern is exactly what greewash marketing like RecycleBank exists to massage into tame, misconceived channels.  What we need and ought to be demanding is access to the macro-economic decisions that determine when and where plastic gets used.  What we get instead from RecycleBank and its paymasters is two things:

1. the fiction that recycling could ever compensate for the consequences of those macro-level choices, over which the public remains utterly powerless; and

2. the transfer of all responsibility onto “consumers,” among whom Recycle Bank positively encourages “green guilt.”

Oh, and the sponsor of the RecycleBank plastics “awareness” mindfuck?

Naked Juice, the “healthy” plastic-bottling subsidiary of PepsiCo.