The biggest challenge facing the planet is our dependence on plastic. More specifically, single-use-plastics. Most plastics end up polluting our oceans and destroying marine life. Many countries, states, and cities around the globe are implementing a ban on single-use plastics.
Who is eliminating single-use plastics?
Plastic is the single greatest threat to our beaches, oceans, and marine life. The United Nations estimates that approximately 127 countries have made commitments to ban single-use plastic or phase them out significantly in the next five years. Canada is the most recent country to join the pack, vowing to band the most problematic single-use plastics by the year 2021.
Banning single-use plastics in the US
In the United States, several states have banned single-use plastics. New York, Hawaii, and California have the most aggressive plans, and we expect many more states to follow. Many cities in the US have implemented their own plans to combat this environmental crisis.
What plastic products are banned?
Among the most popular single-use plastic bans are plastic grocery bags, straws, and bottles. Some are choosing to implement extra taxes and costs if you want a plastic bag at the grocery store or straw in a restaurant. However, many places are eliminating the choice entirely.
Eliminating plastic shopping bags
It is estimated that shoppers around the globe use over 500 billion single-use plastic shopping bags a year. These plastic shopping bags end up in the ocean where they can do severe damage to marine life. Something that we use for an average of 12 minutes before tossing it away has an incredible lifespan and may cause the death of thousands of marine species a year. That is a severe environmental toll for something easily replaceable with something more sustainable, like a reusable tote bag.
You can help by reducing your single-use plastics, and to make sure that you recycle. Sign up for recycling services in your area.