The Plastic Cow

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2 Responses

  1. Milan Malej, Slovenia says:

    Thinking in these days to your “plastic” cows, I saw once again the importance of searching and enforcing the general basic principles of our life here on the Earth. Practically, with whatever problem I meet through Internet information or contacts with other people, its solution appears automatically, when we try to apply one of these general principles on it. We cannot prevent animals from eating our garbage, if we leave it everywhere and unprotected, dirty and smelling from rests of our food and other organic substances we produce and use. These problems are only the most visible. In cities and coastal areas we have the same problems with wild birds living there. They eat smaller and degraded parts of our garbage. You cannot prevent their access with fences. And we rarely analyze their individual deaths and illnesses.
    The plastic packages and (parts of) other products are included into the first basic principle I explained in the book What after Democracy? These are quality and long lasting products. I’ll try to highlight briefly the most important aspects:
    – Quality products are being used much longer time and material turnover is drastically reduced – and thus also the quantity of our garbage.
    – Quality products are valuable (and more expensive). So we consciously use them carefully and in longer periods. They might have also a requested period of usage, even if we sell them.
    – Quality products (will) have much better service, construction and user documentation. The electronic parts can protect them from overburdening. The eventual service will be sensible and demanded, too. But the service net even unnecessary if the production would be regionally distributed.
    – At expiration of their using period it will be possible to dismantle them in still valuable and recyclable parts and use this material again.
    – Quality products will be made of quality, clean, not coloured and glued materials. Much lower number of different materials will be standardized and their usage controlled. This allows joining the parts of different products, recycling them together and using the same material for other products again.
    – Quality products also exclude all unnecessary products, which serve only for raising our self-importance and ego and for creation unfair relations among people, like big and fast cars,
    – Quality products also demand elimination of competition at developing them. Much better results (for nature and people) can be achieved with cooperation in this field and later with the regionally and fair distributed production and recycling capacities.
    The packages inside this principle is equally made from standardized, quality, unbreakable materials. For the similar products (food) it has equal forms. The packages must be cleanable, returnable and again recyclable after using them many times. An example is the form of (larger) yoghurt glasses, made from resistant mixture of glass and plastics. The same forms will enable returning to different producers along the shortest ways. With such system we will also lower the energy for recycling very much. Burdening of nature with plastic will be much lower and still necessary rubbish dumps will be easily to protect from animal access and garbage liquid discharges. So at the end also the cows will not have access to the plastics.
    The quantity of necessary protection with packaging will be also drastically reduced by increasing importance of local communities, which will live in large degree from their own resources – reducing the trade and tourism currents, limiting the possible number of people in community, giving work and holding the professionals at home, producing local healthy food, immediately, unprocessed and unprotected accessible to all.
    I agree that in the meantime we need some urgent protection steps for every of such local problems. But they are not the permanent solutions. We must protect us from being forced of continuous searching such protection and temporary solutions and fight against raping of the life, enforced by all that have power of deciding, including us at our small, unimportant self-willed decisions (of throwing a plastic bag away, for example).

    • Jennie Richards says:

      Thanks Milan for your very thoughtful feedback, and the principles you have shared from the book “What After Democracy?” Rubbish and trash are an increasing problem due to the prevalence of plastic bags, to better access to purchasing products today, to not having proper disposal methods readily available. Having a trash-free society and community is an ethic, that people must feel has value both short- and long-term. Thanks again for sharing the many great ideas you highlighted for all to read. Take care.

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