LauraLynn Jansen

30 Pounds of Plastic

I’ve made a new friend in my new town. I’ve also met her husband they are kindred spirits to my environmental self. Upon my first visit to their home I was introduced to their piles of plastic. Each week the husband goes via boat or truck to pick up trash, which is mostly plastic, on nearby shores. He invited me to go the other day after I expressed a willingness to assist in cleaning up. Unfortunately on his first call to assist I had to decline due to prior obligations. Afterward he reported back to me via e-mail. “I found another 30 pounds of plastic. Don’t worry, there’s plenty left out there for you!” I was shocked, on one shoreline in this small part of Florida in less than three hours he found that much discarded plastic!

This is a bottle found, obviously it’s not breaking down at all.
It has been in the water long enough to gather significantly sized barnacles!


I’ve found myself to be a trash picker-upper most of my life. Often the image of a commercial I saw as a child  pops in my head when I see trash on the ground. If you grew up in the 70s you may remember it – a Native American with a tear going down his face as he looks at all the trash.

Here in the panhandle of Florida the white sand beaches just call to be kept clean. I became curious, after the husband shared some plastic imagery links, and wandered myself. 

Here are a few of…

His links:
If you don’t think you use that much plastic consider the imagery in this video. I was amazed when I started to think how much I use everyday.
Curious for more check out All One Ocean.org
And Mine:
Now I have been keeping a heads up on the world of plastic. A link to this video popped up on my FB sidebar. It made me smile. The video, One Beach, is just one example of an amazing attempt to upcycle literally garbage. Some of these efforts have been made into exhibits at SFMOMA and other museums. (http://beachplastic.com/)
Another interesting awareness raising concept is this restaurant, The Plastic Dining Room. The last time I went to the website it was temporarily disenabled, so keep trying. The restaurant is built on 1,675 plastic bottles and debuted in Vancouver last year with a sustainable-seafood menu. The article in Food & Wine magazine noted they would be ‘floating’ it to Newport Beach, CA this last summer. Intriguing and Ingenuis way to raise awareness!
I was also grateful to recently discover, a major mainstream chain – CVS drug stores – are carrying biodegradable garbage bags.
Of course as a cancer survivor I think not only about impact on the environment but also our bodies. How more and more research is now being shared that shows the link between our health and plastic. Ten and half years ago the film Rachel’s Daughters,which had friends of mine in it was created showing the environmental links. Of course then it was hushed, poo-pooed and shushed, just like Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring back in 1962. Just four years before I was born this brilliant woman saw how we were heading toward the epidemic we now find ourselves in – every other man and every third woman finding out they have cancer. Just since the beginning of this year three very dear friends of mine have heard this word from their doctors’ mouths as their potential future!
I try to hold to this light in my heart and not let it become a burden. And at the same time it is. It brings an immediate anger in my heart, sadness in my soul, and a deeper determination in my mind to be someone who helps others be as healthy as they can.
Thanks for listening. 

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