If you’re old enough or if you are not so old but have seen the now very old movie The Graduate, you may remember the scene in which a businessman, Mr. McGuire, gives a piece of advice to the character Benjamin played by Dustin Hoffman. Putting his arm around Benjamin, Mr. McGuire declares. “I want to say one word to you---just one word. Are you listening?” Benjamin replies, “Yes, I am.” And then Mr. McGuire clearly and precisely pronounces the word—“plastics.” That was supposed to be invaluable business advice for 1967, the year the movie was released. Plastics was the up and coming industry, and an industry that could make a young man rich if he got into it.
Noting is revealed in the movie about Hoffman’s character taking up this advice. He has romantic interests to pursue, and his mind was really not focused on the petrochemical industry. But as a nation, as a world, we have taken that advice to heart with a vengeance. We have not only remembered plastics, we have fully embraced plastics to the point that plastics are choking our world to death.
According to FracTracker, as much as 12.7 million tons of plastic waste goes into the ocean each year, affecting some 700 species of marine animals. And of course, it’s not only in the oceans, but everywhere else on land and water. So what we don’t need now in Ohio – or anywhere—are more petrochemical plants to make plastics. But that’s what we ARE going to get. With all the natural gas and natural gas liquids which are being mined and which are the feedstock of plastics, Ohio is on the verge of making the problem worse---much, much worse.