Student Perspectives: Plastics and Superheroes 

Claire Kent makes an impassioned plea for the protection of the planet through the regulation of plastics.

Photo by Conrad Erb.

Today I want to face some rumors about Superwoman. I guess you could say that she and I are very good friends, and she wanted to set the record straight about a few things. Many believe that she was sent to Earth by her father before the core of her home planet of Krypton became unstable and the planet imploded. Yes, Krypton did die, but not the way we presume. This is the real story of Superwoman:

Long ago, galaxies away, on the planet of Krypton, a little baby girl was born. Her father, a Kryptonian chemist named Jor-El, worried about changes in the planet. There was a plague, so invisible that the council of Krypton did not believe that it existed. This plague came slowly, but it affected Krypton with the most powerful force. It was a plague of waste filling the oceans. Hills and mountains were built specifically to store trash. Krypton’s animals thought they could eat the fruits of this new land, but sadly they died. As this mass in the ocean grew larger, Jor-El grew leery. He knew that if the waste continued to rise, Krypton would become covered and its inhabitants would not survive. To save the memory of Krypton and tell the story of its demise, he sent his daughter, the only one who believed him when he fretted over the Plastic plague, to the planet he feared would be its next victim. Now Superwoman is here to help save Earth and tell her story as the Last Daughter of Krypton.

I know it’s a lot to take in. You must feel as though the story of Superwoman is a lie. But the true story of Krypton is very similar to the problems we have with plastics here on Earth. Without recycling, education, and innovation in plastics, we may face a similar fate. It doesn’t take Superwoman to save the world. It just takes some intelligence by everyday people. After all, there is only one superhero and seven billion people. . . . I think you can see the odds. She can lift things and stop bullets with her eyes, which is super cool, but the issue requires more than that. So be a superhero today, and think about the choices you make regarding plastics.   


Claire Kent is editor of the Daily Plastics Planet and the author of a blog and book about living a plastic-free life.

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