Another item for the plastic haters file

Photo: TWRA. More at link.

As if the specter of hapless marine animals ensnared in six-pack rings wasn’t enough, here comes a story out of Tennessee about a bear who spent three weeks with his head stuck in a big plastic jar. (Perhaps one of those things that holds several gallons of Cheetos?)

They cut it off him, re-hydrated and released him. This is being presented as an happy ending story. And true–it’s a miracle that he survived at all, but he’s lost 3 weeks’ worth of fat reserves. Can he reclaim that weight before winter?

Why do people leave plastic crap lying around in nature? Can we just stop with the throw-away plastic already?

Color me cranky this morning.

Link to the full story at  (via The Awl)

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  1. While it’s good that the issue was taken care of, it always kind of boggles my mind that this kind of thing is positioned as a happy ending without dealing with the issues that cased this kind of problem in the first place. And, as you suggest, there are frequently unanticipated consequences that don’t happen until later that don’t get addressed either. I’ve never been happier to have seriously cut down on plastic.

  2. Poor wee bear. I agree with you, Cranky. I take my kids to the beach (in Florida) several times a week, and it drives me bonkers how much plastic is on the beach or floating in the water.

    Have you seen a documentary called, “Tapped?” The whole part about the tiny particles of plastic in the oceans is disturbing. But even more disturbing is that there is a place in the ocean where all of this stuff collects. A good film, if you like that sort of thing.

  3. Why do people leave plastic crap lying around in nature?

    Because most people are bloomin’ idiots. This is why the blogosphere is such a nice place to hang out; one can find those like-minded souls who actually know how to use their brain!

    Obviously you don’t have a monopoly on cranky this morning…

  4. Oh, that breaks my heart. I will be thinking of the bear today as I scout for litter on my way home from work. Every now and again I start feeling it doesn’t matter if I pick up litter….there is always more…but I bet that won’t happen with this ol’ bear in mind.

    Why do we make disposable products out of materials designed to last for a long, long, long time? It makes no sense.

  5. first, let’s stop eating the crap that comes in the plastic crap. i have found that since changing my diet, i have much less packaging to reuse, recycle, or throw way. first we must rethink.

  6. People make disposable products out of materials designed to last a long, long, long time because that’s what people demand. People demand low cost crap that and don’t really care about quality that much. They want more and more and more and they want it cheaper and cheaper so they can buy more and more. I just sit back and shake my head.

  7. The poor bear looks so skinny I could hardly recognize it as a bear.

    We all just have to stop buying it and that will change the supply–perhaps? I’m hopeful.

  8. oh, you mean there are other things living on the planet besides us? wow, I never see them on the way to Wal-mart.

    this really pisses me off. last week I out in nature with a group of kids and a few adults, already feeling sensitive about waste, when an eagle flew over. after pointing it out, I told the group ‘if we don’t take care of the environment and recycle we won’t see eagles’. one of the SUV driving adults asked ‘why?’. I don’t know, they can’t afford organic produce? Isn’t it obvious?

    I posted this to my facebook page with further inflammatory remarks aimed at the clueless

  9. Okay, I already had this post written about the bear and the jar when I saw your post yesterday, but posted it just now. I have a whole different take on the jar.

    Trish, that man sounded serious. Ignorance can be cured with knowledge. Clueless or not, maybe he was serious. It is better to come late than never to ecological awareness. Maybe he could have related to not shooting eagles, but was clueless about how not recycling could be dangerous, also. Just my two cents that you did not ask for.

  10. You’re right, Practical, the person was oozing with ecological ignorance. It makes me weak at the knees that this could happen – never thinking of the implications of our actions and the effect they have on the environment. This person, a woman in fact, has a husband who is otherwise intelligent, and very right leaning, and insists to me (a known left leaning environmentalist) that plastic can be degraded by microbes in the soil. He claims to have read this in the book ‘Secrets of the Soil’. He is one of these people who don’t want any environmental constraints on big business, so our wonderful free market system can hum happily along. I don’t know how to deal with this. I haven’t read the book, but I feel like if microbes were found to be able to degrade plastic that would be big news.

  11. I heard about a smiler problem, might have been a different bear. Plastic has revolutionised our world, so many things we depend on are only possible because of some kind of plastic. I think the problem comes when plastic is “miss used” as cheep manufactured packaging that gets tossed in a couple days, since most plastics will takes years to decompose it doesn’t make sense to use it for “disposable” products. Horrible way to die, from starvation especially if you can see the food…

  12. I saw what was initially a lovely scene of a family along the east bank of the Los Angeles River on Saturday, a mother, father and two daughters — the youngest who waved at us as my wife and I passed on our way downstream. They’d stood up a patio umbrella for shade.

    On our way back upstream the mother was tending a makeshit grill laden with cooking hot dogs. Dad had a fishing pole and the girls stood by his side looking on where the line went into the water. Then Susan pointed out what I’d missed: the three plastic bags floating in the river around them that they’d obviously tossed there, because they couldn’t be bothered not to pollute where they play. Grrrrrrr.

  13. This upsets me to no end. I agree with Sam S. I think plastic has given us endless of useful items, but on the flip side are incredibly mis-used. I also cannot for the life of me understand why we need to use plastic for our disposable items, heck I don’t know why we need so many disposable items at all.

    Rose, I’m also from Florida, live near the beach and I’m constantly baffled by the amount of plastic and other garbage on the beach and in the water. As a family when we take our beach walks, we pick it up and throw it away, but we shouldn’t have to be doing this at all. This summer my kids and I drove up the East Coast ans stopped in Virginia Beach, disgusting. So much trash, it was so sad to see. Why don’t people want to keep clean the places they love to visit. I just don’t understand.

  14. my sisters dog sufficated in the time it took for her to take a bath. She got her head stuck in a dog treat tub like the one in the picture. it was disturbing hearing the stories of the bear evaiding those who were trying to help it.

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