(TMU) — A 15-foot tall garbage monster is roaming Florida but unless you’re a Publix executive you should have nothing to fear.
Concerned citizens of Florida, along with Greenpeace activists, have brought the “plastic monster” to the state’s capital in an attempt to sound the alarm on the issue of plastic pollution—specifically plastic bags.
From there the plastic monster has set its sights on grocery store chain Publix and their parking lots. The chain, headquartered in Florida, boasts 1,239 stores located in the Sunshine State, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Despite the efforts of locals and activists, the popular store hasn’t been willing to cooperate on the issue of eliminating single-use plastics. This is where the 15-foot plastic monster comes in. The monster will be roaming the state to draw attention to the grocery store chain’s lack of attention on the important issue.
While the issue of single-use plastics is being tackled the world over, it hits closer to home to many of Florida’s residents. According to Australia’s Ocean Crusaders, it is believed that there are “5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean.” The number one “man made thing that sailors see in our ocean are plastic bags” and worldwide shoppers are using about one million of them every minute.
Despite being known for its beaches, the state of Florida has laws in place that basically ban local governments from banning the use of plastic bags. And it just so happens that Publix financially supports those very laws. It appears the massive plastic monster did its research and is in the right place.
Greenpeace plastic campaigner David Pinsky said in a statement:
“Publix continues to demonstrate that it cares more about maintaining its ability to use cheap plastics than answering its customers. Publix needs to get out of the way and get on the right side of history by ending its reliance on single-use plastic.”
According to Publix, their plastic bags “use 71 percent less energy to produce than paper bags” but this does nothing to address the shocking amount of plastic waste that ends up in the world’s waterways and oceans.
Publix has also touted its plastic reduction program and the fact that the store, like many others, collects plastic bags from shoppers for recycling. But as it turns out, much of that plastic waste is simply stored or buried in hopes that it can eventually turn a profit when being sold for recycling.