– The Eco-Friendly Movement –
As countries develop plans to eradicate single use plastics, the conversation continues regarding the best practices to monitor and engage consumers to do their part. In order to evaluate the positive impact this will have on the world, checks and balances must be developed from the start. This initiative has been in the limelight for some time now, but most recently is being heard and listened to by government’s law-making bodies.
What are single use plastics?
When referring to single use plastics, there are quite a few items that fall into this category. The top ten are;
Tackling the Problem Across the Globe
There are solutions that take little effort to do but it seems that creating a new habit is a bit more difficult. For instance, plastic straws are one of the largest culprits for this environmental problem. In 2018, California, Seattle, Hawaii and Washington D.C. set a ban on plastic straws. However, plastic straws are still prevalent across the USA. A solution for this is to use a reusable straw or paper straw if needed.
Water bottles are one of the other single-use plastics that have made a huge detrimental impact on our environment. Approximately 50 billion plastic water bottles were used in the U.S. while only 23% of them were recycled. That leaves 38 billion water bottles that ended up in landfills or in our precious waterways. A quick solution – use a reusable water bottle!
According to UN Environment there are 127 countries that have adopted legislature to regulate plastic bag use. They are making the ban of single use plastics a top priority. For instance, the U.K. plans on phasing out all single use plastics by 2030. Canada and France were the first countries to ban plastic cups, plates and utensils beginning in 2020. Kenya has banned plastic bags being manufactured, imported, or sold and hold a hefty fine of $40,000.00 or up to 4 years in jail. If people are caught using a plastic bag, a fine of $500.00 or up to 1 year in jail is enforced according to BBC News. This was initiated due to the plastic bags clogging up drainage systems during flood season and the bags would end up on the ground where cattle grazed. The bags were being found in cows’ stomachs. Since the fines have been in place, the usage and pollution has decreased significantly.
As of now, the US does not have a nationwide ban, however, some states have made their own laws to ban the hazardous products.
Australia’s APCO organization is making great strides moving toward a circular economy which includes educating the consumers from the start. They plan to be in full swing by 2025.
Single use plastics are made to be thrown away in a minute only to come with a steep environmental price. The fact that this issue is being attacked on a global level is a positive move toward a global circular economy. Everyone must do their part.
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