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Diary of a plastic bottle

Author : Nguyen Duy Nguyen - Pham Tran Minh Anh

May 14, 2022

Will the world be greener or will it be covered in smoke tomorrow?

Hi, I'm a tiny plastic bottle. I was born in the USA in 1971.

And now it's 2022. I'm going to be sent to a plastic recycling plant, which means you won't see me in the form of a plastic bottle like this anymore! Are you wondering if I'm miserable? Death is sad, but to plastic bottles like us, it's not scary at all.

For 50 years, I have traveled almost everywhere on Earth and seen how humanity develops, also how the environment has changed for the worse … Let's take a quick look back on this long journey!

1971 - USA

I was born to everyone's delight. The press at this time praised disposable plastic as an excellent invention, helping to save time of cleaning household items. I and my fellow human beings were transported to different stores. A boy with fair skin, blond hair, and clear blue eyes took me off the shelf and brought me along with him. In front of my eyes, there was the scene of beautifully blue sea, white sandy beach with white foams and the cool breeze. After having finished his Coke, he let me ride the waves that took me away from the shore. It was the first time I got to see how vast the ocean was!

1985 - England

Having drifted on the sea for ages, I finally stopped by the romantic Thames river. I was carried by the waves to a small sandy beach. Having floated and witnessed the changing surroundings for a long time, I realized that the water was not as clear as before. I saw one end of a pipe was discharging a sort of black sewage straight into the river. Nevertheless, it seems like people around were not paying much attention. Maybe because their main source of seafood was from offshore fishing?

Year 2000 - India

A long journey brought me to the sacred Ganges River of India. The river is huge, and there were many people taking a dip in water or doing the laundry on both sides. Some people used river water to cook while others used it to drink. I had heard about how Indians worship the Ganges, but now that I had a chance to see it with my own eyes, it was a big shock to see all kinds of garbage including my friends were floating on this river. Occasionally, there were also "shiny" oil stains and even white bubbles on the surface. Seeing people carefreely live on this water source really took me aback.

Here, I met a new friend - an eagle, who was having a stomach ache - I did not have a clue where he came from, but after having drunk the water from the Ganges, he suffered from a severe colic. Why was that???

2017 - China

So I and the eagle had been together for 17 years. We traveled all over from small to big cities, and found that people's life was much more comfortable and economy growing with electric lights turned on all the times, factories are in nonstop operation mode, bottles of fertilizers, pesticides, and chemicals being used excessively …. Yet everything brought on a sad reality: the environment was severely damaged. What would the future be like? Eagles and I met birds, monkeys, fish... , whose bellies were full of nylon; we encountered paddy fields that could not grow because of saline soil; and witnessed garbage piled up on both sides of the road…

We were in China at that moment when air pollution is at alarming level ! We had to stay close to see each other to keep the visibility. The eagle was getting old and was about to break his talons again, hence it was very difficult for him to fly through such terrible thick smoke. It took a long time for both of us to find our way to a new land - where we hoped it wouldn't be as heavily polluted as China

Year 2020 - Vietnam

Oh, we made it to Vietnam already. It was not as heavily polluted here as in China, but really, we still couldn't imagine the forests being burned down for farming, or being chopped down to serve plenty of purposes... The consequences are so terrified : heavy rain that caused flood and lands eroded, sweeping away houses, possessions, claiming people lives… It seems that people are aware of such consequences, but in the end they still couldn't prevent them.

2021 - Pacific Ocean

The Covid epidemic was spreading globally. Eagle and I already reached the Pacific Ocean to temporarily avoid the pandemic. Yet we were stuck in a big pile of trash. Eagle was exhausted as his wings were caught in a nest, stopping him from continue to fly. In the end, he fell asleep on the backs of my folks - the plastic bottles.

2022 - HOPE

Waking up in one morning surrounded by warm sunlight, blue sea, white sand. Suddenly, I felt like something was pulling us away.

Two three, two three, two three…

"Save the Earth" - a dozen of people were pulling us closer to the boat. Perhaps …

Having just been towed on board, they divided me and my friends into different boxes. Then, We were transported to a secret place.

It is a waste treatment plant where I was sent to be cleaned up. Now I look like a brand new plastic bottle!

They're going to take me to the recycling facility. I don't know what I would look like after being recycled. A new plastic bottle? A bag? A vase of flowers? I have no clue. I Just know however that, I'll wake up in a new form and no longer be a plastic bottle floating around. It's regrettable that I won't be able to travel around the world anymore, but I'm still happy, because I will have a new and special look that won't have a bad impact on the ecosystem!

I'm just like you, just a small white spot on a background that's getting darker like this environment. The way you treat the environment will indicate and reflect your future, either shiny, wide-open or even dark and obscure.

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