April 19, 2017
April 22 marks Earth Day around the globe. I was in 8th grade when Earth Day was first commemorated in 1970, and to mark the day, I participated in annual trash clean-up events at my school. At that time, my world was pretty much the town where I grew up in New Jersey and I didn’t think very much about the rest of the world, I just wanted my neighborhood to be clean. But eight years later, my world expanded when I went to live and work in Bangkok. I vividly remember being struck by the amount of plastic bags, bottles, and wrapping on the streets and in the city’s once-many canals. Now, after four decades of traveling in Southeast Asia, I have witnessed the plague of the plastic bag across pretty much every major city in the region.