Pulp from Plants Makes Packaging More Earth-Friendly

18 September, 2016

The average American throws away about 84 kilos of plastic every year.

Much of that ends up in the ocean, according to the marine research group Algalita. Almost half is thrown away after just one use.

Plastic trash in oceans enters the marine food chain, hurting or killing ocean life.
Plastic trash in oceans enters the marine food chain, hurting or killing ocean life.

And the plastic in the ocean does not go away. Instead, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. Then the fish and other marine life eat it. That can make them become sick, or even die.

National Geographic reported in 2015 that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris, or trash, in the ocean.

Paul Tasner is an industrial engineer. He spent most of his career making plastic. He made "blister packs," the plastic wrap around consumer products that are very hard to open, even with scissors.

The packs help protect products during shipping, and help prevent goods from being stolen.

Then one day, Tasner had a moment that changed his life.

"My wife came back from a big box retailer with a pair of these industrial-strength shears for opening packages. That's what is said on the package: you know, ‘For opening those hard to open plastic blister packages." The shears were called, ‘Open it.'"

He says the funny -- and crazy -- part was that the shears to open the blister packs were packed -- in a blister pack.

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