‘it takes five seconds to produce, you use it for five minutes and it takes 500 years to break down again’
The war on plastic is definitely heating up, as more people become aware of the dangers of the material which takes hundreds of years to break down, releasing toxins in the earth, seas and air as it does so.
More groups are taking action to combat the growing epidemic of plastic.
In the UK, multiple food chains will now be charging extra for plastic straws, by 2020, the UK is planning to hopefully scrap single-use plastic altogether.
In Taiwan, food chains are now no longer allowed to supply plastic straws, whilst by 2025, there will be a complete ban on plastic straws nationwide.
Taiwan will also put this process into practice with other materials such as plastic plates, cutlery, and plastic bags, essentially working towards a complete ban in the near future.
Elsewhere in the European Union, the pressure is being applied to countries to work towards their own issues with plastic.
The EU hopes to ensure that all plastic packaging by 2030 is made entirely from recycled goods, whilst single-use plastics in the meantime will have a tax applied to them.
The UK will also follow in the footsteps of EU countries, who hand out tokens at stores for people that bring back all their single-use plastics for recycling.
In Africa, there has been a mixed success for plastic waste.
Some places like Gambia have completely banned plastic bags, whilst South Africa have introduced levies.
Kenya is even putting people in prison for throwing away plastic bags or fining them heavily for littering.
However, even these tough methods have not been able to stop the sale and usage and waste of plastic bags.
When it comes to the US, banning plastic can be rather tricky.
For such as consumerist society, new laws and regulations have been met sometimes with clear, stubborn refusal.
Due to the abundance of states, you can have a ban in one area but easily be able to purchase plastic bags in another, which is actually doing little to combat climate change.
The USA need a blanket ban on all plastic bags, but with a President who doesn’t believe that climate change is real, sadly, this won’t happen for a while yet.
It is clear that whilst steps are being taken to combat the use of plastic worldwide, according to ‘The Earth Matters’, it is a rather patchwork approach to a global problem.
Here are some online petitions that are fighting the use and the pollution of plastic, several of these have been successful, from charging for plastic bags to banning straws in McDonald’s.