Plastic Bans To Solve Plastic Pollution
Author: Gemma Alexander
Governments might finally be getting serious about plastic pollution. National and state governments around the world passed single-use plastic bans in 2022, but it’s not big governments that are taking action. In fact, city ordinances stad the plastic ban ball rolling. Individual citizens can lead the charge to ban single-use plastics from their communities. These bans are not coming a moment too soon. Plastic contributes to both pollution and climate change. Between 4% and 8% of global oil consumption is related to plastic’s life cycle. In the U.S., 232 million metric tons of greenhouse gases are generated every year to produce plastic products that are often used only once and then discarded. Plastics incineration in the U.S. generates 5.9 million metric tons of CO2-eq. Disproportionately located in areas near impoverished communities and communities of color, these incinerators create environmental injustice. Outside of the U.S., plastic is often burned in the open, where it releases poisonous chemicals with a global warming potential 5,000 times higher than carbon. Bangladesh was the first country to implement a plastic bag ban, nearly 20 years before more developed nations adopted the idea. In 2021, the European Union banned single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks and cotton buds; cups and food and beverage s made of expanded polystyrene; and all products made of oxo-degradable plastic from sale in its member nations.