I had a thought as I woke up this morning. Where does plastic come from? Oil. How much oil do we have left? Nobody knows for sure, but we should start running dangerously low in about 20 or 30 years.
So then where do we get more plastic?
What will we make bags out of? Or credit cards? Or polyester?
I’m sure Dupont and others are rapidly coming up with new materials that are not based on oil byproducts. So by the time I’m fifty, I’ll have clothing made from corn stalk fibres, and a CD collection made from sand.
Another option: Mining companies head for the dump. I’m serious. A hundred years from now, we will have thrown out a large chunk of the world’s non-renewable resources. There will be literal gold-mines in dumps all over the world. There will be more metal and plastic and other rare jewels found in dumps than can be found in traditional mineral deposits.
Of course, I’m probably not the first person to come up with these ideas. Al Gore has probably already delivered a speech or two about the end of plastic. Or maybe it’s not an issue – maybe it’s already been taken care of, and the plastic companies are just waiting for the oil to run out before bringing on their new line of materials.
I don’t know, but I’m starting to feel a twinge of worry.