Yolanda Simonsis is a 38-year veteran of the packaging and converting industries. She has held past editorial positions with two former publications of Delta Communications and Cahners...more

A Weird Thing Happened on April 20

On the same day I visited Earth Friendly Products with my staff for my Blog entry, titled “What Did You Do on Earth Day?” the BP oil rig explosion occurred. Since that time we’ve been watching and waiting as millions of gallons of oil have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico.

It seems no matter what efforts have been made to clean or contain the spill (even an oil dispersant is now suspected of being toxic, only to generate new worries), nothing seems to be working. I couldn’t help remembering that fateful announcement from Jim Lovell on April 13, 1970, when he said “Houston, we have a problem.” Apollo 13 avoided a near-disaster when Earth ground crew engineers came up with a fix-it that relied on duct tape, plastic bags, and cardboard (all converted products by the way) that were used in converting a CO2 filter to allow them to breathe.

Here we are with Louisiana’s wetlands being decimated and, for all we know, the entire Earth might be affected for decades. Tom Bezigian, Poly Ploys blogger for PFFC, shared with me a quote attributed as an old Native American Cree saying: Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money. Let’s hope this saying does not embody our future.

If ever we needed a solution, it is now. The classic NASA problem/solution methodology desperately needs to be implemented.

Hey, you Engineers out there! Duct tape, plastic bags, and cardboard won’t fix this oil spill problem. Ya got any other ideas????

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