India Rising… Above Plastic

We are just back from a trip to “Incredible !ndia” — this is the tag line used by the Indian Ministry of Flower vendorTourism to promote India around the world, and it’s true, India is !ncredible. One might argue that I’m biased because I have Indian roots, but this is a country that grabs everyone by all senses and flys away with you. It is so alive, just teeming with life. And the colours – I love the flowers sold in the street, and the numerous fresh vegetable stands.

We were there to visit family and meet with some of our suppliers. We visited Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi. Doing what we do, Chantal and I were always on the lookout for signs and info about the current state of the plastic pollution in India, and what is being done about it. With a population exceeding a billion, over 30% of which live below the poverty level, dealing with plastic waste is a challenge by any measure. And yet, we found many signs of positive action.

plastic tray

Public Schools in Maryland to acquire Polycarbonate Compartmented Trays for Schools

18 February 2009 — I just discovered today a news piece about a school board in Elkridge Maryland agreeing to spend $45,924 to purchase 10,320 compartmented trays made of polycarbonate plastic (the kind that contains BPA) to be used by school children. I am disappointed that the science behind the dangers of this type of plastic is still not fully accepted, therefore putting thousands of children at risk. As I understand it, these trays will be used like a plate and will be in contact with food.

Plastic Realities

The evidence is growing that chemicals leached from plastics used in everyday life, including for cooking and food & drink storage, are harmful to human health. Among the most disturbing of these are hormone – aka endocrine – disrupters, such as Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA has been associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, miscarriages, breast and prostate cancer, reproductive dysfunction, metabolic dysfunction and diabetes, and neurological and behavioral disorders. The health risks of plastic are significantly amplified in children, whose immune and organ systems are developing and are more vulnerable.