Oil Prices Heading Up…Should We Be Hoarding Plastic?


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Could it be the new gold once the oil runs out? Should I be saving every piece of plastic that comes in the house and storing it for some future use?

Let’s see – if almost everything in my house is made with some sort of plastic components, I imagine I am sitting on a goldmine! I can save it all – computers, pens, iPhone, my chair, my fan, my trash can, my telephones, TV, board games, alarm clocks, shampoo bottles, combs, brushes, even part of the hummingbird feeder – and have it melted down and sold back to the utility companies or to the oil companies. What do you think? Am I on to something here?

Of course not.

But think about how much petroleum we use for everyday products (it is required for almost everything) and how we are supposedly running out of oil…does it make sense to continue to push mass consumerism of plastic goodies in a time when we import more and more oil from overseas? I thought that our government was concerned about terrorism and those “nations that hate us” (I hate that expression, so don’t mind me)? I guess not enough to ask our peoples to reduce their consumption a teeny, tiny bit. During WWII, citizens had lots of restrictions put upon them by the government for the greater good – tires, automobiles, typewriters, sugar, gasoline, bicycles, footwear, fuel oil, coffee, stoves, shoes, meat, lard, shortening and oils, cheese, butter, margarine, processed foods, dried fruits, canned milk, firewood and coal, jams, jellies and fruit butter – were rationed by November 1943. So what are we being asked to do in 2008 to help work out our oil “addition”?

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

And there is something seriously wrong with that.

Photo by nyki_m

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  1. I could, but if the system ever collapsed my pieces of paper would be worthless. Thus, the plastic. 😉 Of course, I am kidding about hoarding plastic, but still…

  2. About 7% of the oil extracted from the ground ends up as a petrochemical. Plastic accounts for about half of that… There are a lot of calories thrown away every day on that basis. Instead of hoarding, you could by plastics futures from the London Metals Exchange, which has a couple of contracts.

  3. I wonder if part of the problem is that people don’t understand that plastic = oil. I’m sure at one time or another they’ve heard it, but I’m not sure that people really get it. I think that plastic has become so normative that we don’t question its origins or its future (or lack thereof)

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