Mississippi can help clean world’s oceans

ONE MORE TIME – Comment & Observation – By Joe Lee III

     Experts tell us that each year the world dumps eight million tons of plastic in the ocean. By 2028 the world’s oceans’ plastic contamination is predicted to reach 250 tons.
     Much of this nasty waste floats around for fish to eat or strangle on. If a fish digests the unhealthy plastic, then humans will likely end up digesting the unhealthy fish.
     Eventually the discarded plastic will sink. It will then be digested by bottom feeders. The dangerous plastic particles will still find their way right up the food chain into our bodies. Plastic is not a healthy diet.
     Unfortunately, plastic takes decades or more to decay.
     There is an answer. In fact, there are two remedies.
     First, we careless humans can be more careful about discarding and recycling plastic waste.
Mississippi can help
     Second, we can go back to using paper straws, paper bags, and paper containers. Paper rots. Paper degrades.
Paper has another advantage. Mississippi has a virtually endless supply of trees. Using proper rotation and thinning, we grow it almost like a row crop.
     Based on current consumption, if we don’t plant another single tree, Mississippi currently has a three decade (or more) inventory. We can supply the raw materials to replace a zillion plastic straws and billions of other plastic containers.
Shrimp in a box
     The Boss of the House and I were at City Grocery in Oxford the other day to have some of their outstanding shrimp and grits. We could not eat it all, so we asked for a to-go box. They boxed it up in a neat little cardboard container. Not plastic. It was fine. Actually I microwaved it the next morning and had shrimp and grits for breakfast!
     What a treat – and I threw away the bio-degradable container.
Revenue producer
     Years ago I met a tree hugger from California. She gave me a lecture about saving redwood forests. I agreed with her, but tried to explain that growing, harvesting, and replanting pines and hardwoods was one of Mississippi’s biggest revenue producers. Being from California, I doubt if she listened to a poor dumb Mississippi boy.
     Did you know that Mississippi has 19.5 million acres of producing forest land, 65% of the total land in the state. In 2014, the $1.02 billion worth of forest timber was harvested, according to ForestryImpacts.net. That production is probably less than10% of our potential annual capacity.
Interstate Gas prices
Last week the price of gas in Senatobia was $2.499, Batesville was $2.459, and Grenada was $2.559.