3-6-12 Void-fill snow

Plastic catalog, in which I collect all the plastic I find in my daily half-mile walk from my home in Southeast Portland, Oregon, to the dog park at Mount Tabor.

straw

fountain soda lid that says Sweetheart

packing peanut

the other half of the Connect with Something Better package I found yesterday, apparently for broadband equipment

Once I’ve been collecting items for a while I’ll conduct a formal inventory, but I suspect that among the most common items will be the three I found today: straw, packing peanut, soda fountain lid.

Each is an invention of the 1960s and 70s, though straws as a tool for drinking are apparently ancient. The plastic lid has a byzantine history of forms, styles and patents (the Wikipedia entry for the Sweetheart cup company has been blocked for “Investigation of potential copyright issue.”) Dow Chemical came up with the Styrofoam packing peanut in 1965. It is mostly air, a kind of packaging known as “void-fill.” One author estimated that enough packing peanuts are produced each year to cover Manhattan in three inches of void-fill snow.

 

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