All we can hope for is that people become conscious of their actions.
I haven't seen much activity on the "Take the Pledge" comments section, but am just starting out don't really know what to expect with this, either. Here's another plastic reduction promise I came across when browsing the 5 gyres website.
THE 5 GYRES PLASTIC PROMISE:
I promise to:
•Bring my own water bottle, mug, utensils and reusable bag.
•Say ‘No Plastic Straw Please” when I dine out.
•Buy what’s in the least amount of plastic packaging.
•Pick up 5 pieces of plastic pollution I see littered whenever I’m out.
•Engage family, businesses and co-workers to make this promise too.
This is a great list, as it tackles the most common plastic encounters (scary!), and asks that you engage family and friends.
Engaging others brings amazing results. Some people are really interested and are immediately more conscious of all their plastic consumption. Others laugh it off, which isn't demotivating to me or anything, but does make me wonder what the underlying cause of this anti plastic insecurity is.
One of my co workers, let's just give him a cool name like Valdez, who knows that I'm doing the Year Without Plastic blatantly used 3 plastic cups yesterday for water at lunch. He remarked that because the cups were so small, he had to return and get a new one, twice. I think he was just pushing my limits to see how I would react. I asked him pretty calmly if he really thought it was necessary, and he shrugged off the question. Regardless of the outcome, I am sure he thought twice about the actions. I on the other hand asked the bartender for a glass instead of a cup and avoided an entry into the Plog.
We must take the extra step to make ourselves (and others) conscious of their actions. Don't overdo it until you have no friends (I think I still have a few), but find the right mix of logic, guilt and leading by example that works for you. Here in the US, the results of using or not using a sustainable resource are never going to be right in front of our faces. Companies make sure that we feel comfortable and at ease when buying their products, and they will go to great financial and moral lengths to do whatever is necessary, to make sure we don't second guess that all important purchase (the recent BP oil spill cover up using Corexit comes to mind). It's when we forget there's a problem that we slip into the habits of our throw away society.