The Guinness Book of World Records has called Single Use Plastic Bags (SUPB’s) “The Most ubiquitous consumer item on the planet”, so when the entire US state of Hawaii and a city the size of Los Angeles implement plastic bag bans as has recently occurred, it feels like the tide is slowly beginning to turn in the global fight against plastic pollution. More good news is that McDonald’s has recently launched a pilot project to phase out its use of polystyrene hot beverage cups (they have already phased out the use of polystyrene food containers.)
Its a big battle against big players, but each victory counts and relatively speaking these are important victories. The global plastics industry is huge and has the capital, the connections and the top PR firms at their disposal. As with ‘Big Tobacco’ in the past however, ‘Big Plastic’ will not be able to hide behind their public relations teams forever. It’s just a matter of time before the truth about the plastic pollution plague becomes impossible to hide
Apart from continuing to spread the message about global plastic pollution, we as consumers need to apply pressure on governments, supermarkets, restaurants etc. Most importantly, we need to try and avoid disposable plastic products wherever possible, because contrary to what the plastics industry would have us believe, recycling (or more accurately ‘downcycling’) is not a sustainable solution.