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OP-ED: The Fastest Way to Remove Plastic from the Oceans Is to Convince Millennials to Eat It


Photo by Carl Campbell / CC BY-SA 2.0

Let’s face it, millennials will eat anything if society tells them to. First it was the cinnamon challenge, then it was tide pods, then it was microgreens. (Apologies to whoever hadn’t realized that microgreens are actually just price-hiked grass from their dad’s old lawn mower.) 

In addition to their curious willingness to eat things they shouldn’t when peer pressured, millennials share a concern for the fate of the planet. (It's like they have to live here or something? Personally, I'm betting on Elon's Mars plans.) Regardless, I am a firm believer that millennials can change the world we already have. And by that I of course mean that they can, by 2030, physically consume all of the plastic ever created. This is the part of the Green New Deal that the Republicans don’t want you to read. 

As an Under The Button Dot Com writer, I know all about the “trending.” My article last week got like almost one-hundred (100) views. Yeah. You heard me right, mom.  In my expert opinion, there are at least two effective approaches to this revolutionary environmental endeavor. The first is the classic internet challenge. As one totally cool and totally not-me person once wrote on their <don't forget to insert a social media platform name>, 

"What’s up, fellow hip kids! Eating plastic is so cool and fun that I, a human child, am going to consume it! LOL xD. #PlasticChallenge #MightBeIronicButNoOneIsSureAtThisPoint.” 

LMAO how cringe is that? And if that approach doesn't catch on, we as a society can resort to the most time-tested method of all: peer pressure. As another also-not-me-but-nearly-as-cool-as-me millennial once said, 

“It’s not enough to avoid using plastic these days. Fellow millennials keep claiming that they use “recyclable” products. Like, yeah okay. Suuuure, bruh. I eat plastic for breakfast. #EatingPlasticIsCoolNow #EatPlasticSoTheTurtlesDontHaveTo." (Feel free to use these organic captions at your leisure, kids.)

Only time will tell if eating plastic is a viable method for environmental clean-up. And who knows? In ten or fifteen years, maybe the next Penn Vegan bar will finally offer foods other than hummus and birdseed