California has been leading the way when it comes to cutting down on the amount of disposable plastic making its way into landfills or worse the ocean with more than 100 cities banning things like polystyrene takeout containers and plastic grocery bags. However, it just isn’t enough. The problem is way too big to handle in a city-by-city approach.
The California state and local rules have gone a long way to raising public awareness, especially when consumers are denied plastic bags at the checkout line or straws are unavailable, but it hasn’t actually done that much to stop the tide of plastic that is covering the planet. Is it time to permanently ban all single-use plastic?
Americans may scoff at the idea, but other countries are making strides to do just that. Last month, Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain announced a plan to eliminate plastic waste by 2042 with Queen Elizabeth herself leading the charge by banning plastic straws and single-use bottles from the royal estates, and the Church of England even encouraged giving up plastic for Lent. The European Union is considering a plastic tax, and China is no longer accepting foreign plastic recyclables.
It isn’t like consumers are expected to give up the convenience of single-use items. Instead of plastic, these countries are looking to alternatives made from biodegradable sources like corn starch, many of which can be composted instead of sent to the landfill.
It is unlikely that the current administration in the White House will make any significant strides in this area, so it may be up to states like California to do the heavy lifting. Hopefully, other states will follow suit.
Watch a shocking video about plastic in the ocean below:
Read more about the movement: “Grocery bags and takeout containers aren't enough. It's time to phase out all single-use plastic“ published by The LA Times posted on Feb 20, 2018. Video provided by IFL Science.