Polyethylene

Polyethylene

A Story by
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A story about a red bottle cap.

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A man twists a red plastic cap off of a plastic bottle, and being an environmentally responsible person, tosses it into a garbage can. After doing so the man forgets about the cap a few seconds later, and why wouldn't he? It's just a bottle cap. The bag is thrown into a garbage truck where it bursts, but the contents still make it to the city dump, where the cap rolls out and settles at the edge of a massive pile of garbage. A gull, circling the dump with many of it's kind, spots it and quickly scoops it off the ground and flies off to enjoy it's prize away from the other gulls. The gull is unable to eat the cap, it being too large to swallow and impossible to break. Still hungry and frustrated that so many of the best looking meals at the dump turn out to be inedible, it drops the cap into a stream. The cap makes it way down the stream where many animals waste their time trying to eat it. A few turtles chomp on the tasty looking morsel, and a raccoon turns it over in its tiny hands until reluctantly letting it go. The cap continues on and eventually reaches the sea years later, still as bright and red as the day it was made, and it bobs among the waves until an unlucky pelican, a female out gathering food for it's young, is able to swallow the cap, where it lodges in her stomach among other bits of plastic and slowly starves her to death. The young back at the nest , their necks extended and mouths open wide, eventually weaken until they can no longer hold their heads up, and finally lay still in a nest made up of plastic bags and drinking straws. The red cap is found on a beach lying among the bones and feathers of the mother bird by a child who quietly contemplates the scene. He picks up the bright red cap and brings it to his father, the same man who threw it away many years before, and who gives the son a lecture about littering and the consequences of being environmentally irresponsible. He makes sure his son throws the cap into the garbage and then forgets about it a few seconds later. Why wouldn't he? It's just a bottle cap.

© 2012


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Featured Review

I really liked this story- not because I'm "environmentally conscious", but because of how clever it is. The idea that such a small thing as a bottle cap can be taken on such a long journey, and directly cause a few fatalities on the way back to the person who threw it away in the first place, is amusing to me. It's like a perverse parody of an old Disney movie, one in which a lost animal has to make its way home in the face of overwhelming odds. This was amusing and a little sinister. Great job.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

:( So sad... But you speak the truth. All of the "man made" materials that we live with each and every day eventually end up making their way back to the earth in some manner, whether we are "responsible" or not. I liked the journey, disliked the outcome (though I think that is what you intended), and the last lines were perfect. Thought provoking indeed. I'm looking around my house right now at all the things that could cause harm and it makes me sad...

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What a powerful story. And with a great message behind it, since I love protecting environment as much as I can and those animals that don't in this case how to protect their own selves. Wonderful story.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I really liked this story- not because I'm "environmentally conscious", but because of how clever it is. The idea that such a small thing as a bottle cap can be taken on such a long journey, and directly cause a few fatalities on the way back to the person who threw it away in the first place, is amusing to me. It's like a perverse parody of an old Disney movie, one in which a lost animal has to make its way home in the face of overwhelming odds. This was amusing and a little sinister. Great job.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What a great story. The bottle cap ctcking back to its owner. we should all think about the environment more; even a bottle cap can do harm.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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301 Views
4 Reviews
Added on May 14, 2012
Last Updated on July 28, 2012
Tags: littering, plastic, pollution, environment

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