My buddy Juergen Horn of Random Good Stuff recently took a tour of a factory in Germany that makes all sorts of plastic household goods. He took a ton of photos and put together a great walk through showing how little bits of white plastic granules get turned into the cups, dishes, colanders and watering cans that we all buy at our local big box stores.

Swing over to Random Good Things and check out the whole tour.

Most of the items rolling off the lines will be bought in a store, used for a few years, and then, if we're lucky, tossed into a landfill, some of it will end up floating around the world's oceans in one of our many plastic garbage patches. A small percentage of the plastic will be recycled, which will delay its entry into the waste stream by a few decades until the park bench it was downcycled into is replaced and thrown away.

Sorry, it's hard not to get crabby when thinking about plastic. We'd die without it, but we're killing ourselves with it.

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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Walk through a plastics factory
Take a photo tour of a factory churning out all the plastic stuff we can't live without.