Spinning The Plastics

The BIG, FAT, but ever so SUCCESSFUL, LIE

Maria Rattray
8 min readAug 18, 2020


Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash

For decades we’d been urged to do our bit for the environment.

The planet is groaning under our waste products, plastics in particular, exacerbated by our throwaway culture, and needs our collective help.

Everywhere you look, plastics are there, supermarkets where vegetables are encased in plastic, a plastic casing containing seven apples,( one for each day of the week, for those who failed basic arithmetic!), plastic stickers, plastic for dairy products…it’s difficult not to worry.

And we have plastic clothes, plastic carpets, and plastic car parts. The list is endless.

On the news yesterday I learned that Woolworth’s is bringing back their little plastic toys. What a transparent marketing ploy to encourage us to buy more, the plastics a thank you for your patronage! I mean…!

Way back on 2017 Four Corners, a weekly program on ABC (Australia),revealed that, ‘much of Australia’s recycling operations have been effectively a sham with mountains of waste being stockpiled with nowhere to go.’

But in this most recent program, ‘the actions of the American plastics industry’ are brought to light, and it’s concerning, to say the least.

The industry’s response

‘The story shows how, in the face of pressure to reduce plastic consumption, recycling programs were created to lull consumers into believing that the plastic waste problem was being solved.’

And so that it wasn’t all on our shoulders, and to make it easy to recycle appropriately, the industry stepped forward, and bent over backwards to be supporting recycling.

If only….

The fact is that recycling was all about taking our attention away from the business of making plastic, to an airbrushed assurance that plastic was being given a new life.

Firstly they came up with a set of labels, veritable guidelines on how to recycle effectively. And many of us were seen checking these labels assiduously as we did our weekly shopping.

Did the plan work?

You betcha!



Maria Rattray

Writer, author, teacher, fun-loving poet. Trying valiantly to make the world a better place. Helping you to guide the future. Find me at: https://ponmyword.com