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Plastic Legislation and Corporate Change; Hope on the Horizon

Posted on April 20, 2018 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

Humans have historically shown little ability to foresee pollution disaster until it inevitably happens. When it comes to ending plastic pollution, much has been attempted to create social awareness, however, people still use disposable plastics like water bottles, shopping bags and take-out containers now more than ever. Now, research is showing some disturbing facts when it comes to how plastic is coming back to take its revenge on the human race.

It seems that so much plastic has been produced and discarded over the last several decades, that it has actually been breaking down and worming its way into the human food and water chain. Whether it is infiltrated into crop harvests or ingested through using simple table salt, scientists are finding remnants of plastic in every living thing on the planet. Although it is much farther along than it ever should have gotten in the first place, such statistics are finally raising alarm.

Political legislation and corporate change are now attempting to tackle and reverse the environmental effects of plastic pollution. Hopefully, these two influences will force humans to wean themselves off of their disposable addiction and end plastic pollution once and for all.

Not My Bag

It is fast becoming a ‘social faux pas’ to walk out of a store carrying a plastic bag. Billions of these flimsy, single-use, toxic satchels have covered our planet and killed our wildlife for way too long. Even though persistent public education and incentives to choose reusable bags has been implemented, it just hasn’t been enough. Now, state legislators are stepping up to force citizens to think twice before adding to plastic pollution.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL),

  • California became the first state to enact legislation imposing a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at large retail stores. The bill also required a 10 cent minimum charge for recycled paper bags, reusable plastic bags, and compostable bags at certain locations.
  • Hawaii has a de facto statewide ban as all of its most populous counties prohibit non-biodegradable plastic bags at checkout, as well as paper bags containing less than 40 percent recycled material.
  • The District of Columbia enacted a law to ban the distribution of disposable, non-recyclable plastic carry-out bags and set a fee of five cents for distribution of all other disposable bags.

Current cities and counties that have enacted plastic bag bans or fees include:

  • Austin, Texas
  • Arizona
  • Boulder, Colo.
  • ​Brownsville, Texas
  • Cambridge, Mass.
  • Chicago
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Los Angeles
  • Montgomery County, Md.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • North Carolina
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Portland, Maine
  • Washington D.C.

More needs to be done so every state and every county steps up to make residents take account for their plastic pollution irresponsibility.

Golden Arch Straw Change

Plastic drinking straws are a sneaky plastic pollution which can be found littering so many natural locations. Because of the thin, hollow design, straws easily travel to the most unexpected places wreaking havoc along the way.

According to The Plastic Pollution Coalition,

“Over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States.”

This enormous plastic waste adds to the estimation that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than there is fish.

Strawless Ocean reports,

“An estimated 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs. When they ingest plastic, marine life has a 50% mortality rate.”

Now one of the hugest corporate conglomerates on the planet is stepping up to reduce straw usage. McDonalds has announced that it will now be required for customers to ask for a straw rather than mindlessly grabbing and discarding handfuls. Eventually plastic straws will be replaced by paper designs.

You too can make a change by choosing compostable straws or using metal, glass or even bamboo personal straws. If Big Corp can do it, so can you.

 

These are small examples of progressive social change when it comes to ending plastic pollution. Now that local government and Big Corp are stepping up, hopefully forced change will also force an attitude adjustment of so many people still insistent on living a disposable plastic life.

 


This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Politically Green, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and was tagged with COMPOSTABLE, NON-TOXIC, plastic bags, plastic pollution, plastic straws, SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS

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