Plastic is everywhere. It is a pervasive part of our everyday lives. It’s a huge source of waste and most of it is not even biodegradable. Worst of all, much of the plastic we throw out is designed to be used only once. So what can we do about a product that we use just one time and then never goes away?

Eco-explorer David de Rothschild, the founder of Adventure Ecology, believes we need to change the way we think about plastic. In addition to using and creating less of it, de Rothschild thinks we need to start recognizing used plastic as a resource.

“Maybe plastic is not to blame,” de Rothschild says. “Maybe we are just not using it correctly.”

David is quick to point out that there are two different kinds of plastic — the good kind and the bad. But even a type of plastic that might be considered good — like say a biodegradable plastic cup — is not good if designed to be used for a one-time purpose.

Straws are the worst, de Rothschild says. “They suck,” he says. Literally, yes, and figuratively because they they are so overused and rarely a real necessity. But instead of fighting this existing reality, David is trying to create a new one.