Thursday, May 31, 2007
People, You Don't Need to Cut Holes in the Soda Can Plastic Rings Anymore
Every so often, I still see someone piously taking out the scissors to thoroughly carve up a six-pack plastic ring, or "yoke" before disposal. When I see someone do this, they throw me that look. The "I pity you" look. It's the look that says "Maybe YOU don't cut up the plastic rings, Mr. Choke-a-fish, but some of us have a little compassion."
What the sanctimonious yoke snippers don't seem to get is that they already won this fight. You don't have to cut up the six-pack plastic rings anymore because they're all photodegradable now, and have been so for almost 20 years. US and Canadian law demands they be photodegradable, and the one company that makes them, ITW Hi-Cone, bends over backwards to demonstrate how environmentally friendly they are. Did you know they're all made from post consumer product and are made from 30% less material than a generation ago?
Leave them out in the sun for more than two weeks and they disintegrate. Throw them in the ocean and they float to the surface and disintegrate. There's really nothing bad you can say anymore about six-pack plastic rings. They're used in arts and crafts. The days where you could see humorous sights like this are long, long gone.
But cutting up the rings is just one of those leftover behaviors that you can't get anyone to shake off. It's been drilled in so well that you have to cut up the rings. It's a relic. It's like how every gas station still screams out "UNLEADED" 30 years after it's necessary. It's like the people who are still fighting the battle against styrofoam and preaching about saving the whales.
That's it for today. I was actually working on a grand treatise about which supermarket items it's okay to buy the generic versions of, and which items really demand a brand-name purchase - but now that I've taken such a hard stance against branding, maybe it wouldn't be appropriate anymore. It's just... diet coke is so much better than diet rite... I have to admit I'm conflicted here.