Tons of plastic debris is discarded every year, polluting lands, rivers, coasts, beaches, and oceans. The main problem for the excess in plastic pollution is single-use plastic. Single-use plastics are intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These include, among other items, grocery bags, food packaging, straws, containers, cups and bottles. Normally, plastic items can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills.

There have been a number of bans recently on these plastics and in particular plastic bottles. Everyone believes that minimizing plastic pollution from entering undesirable places (the ocean) is a good thing, but the reality is that short-sighted bans that single out one plastic product while permitting others isn’t the way to protect our environment. The prohibition of plastic bottles restricts the public’s access to safe drinking water at a time when most U.S. cities are facing water crisis. Before adding to the plastic bottle ban trend, consider the effects that emerge after limiting safe drinking water. If plastic bottles are banned, public health and, ultimately, the environment will be at stake

The best possible solution is building a sustainable and safe water infrastructure and providing an increase in initiative towards recycling and waste clean up. Obviously, limiting an individual’s dependency on bottled water as opposed to tap water would decrease plastic pollution as well. However, the solution is not to ban specific plastics hoping they will turn up a plastic pollution. The solution is to make sure that this waste is going where is should go.

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2 Comments
  1. Giselle 7 months ago

    Dear Graham:
    I am intrigued by your post and agree that plastic should be kept out of the ocean. I think there could be an alternative for plastic and it should be made and used more.
    One sentence you wrote that stands out is “There have been a number of bans recently on these plastics and in particular plastic bottles. ” I think they should keep the plastic from entering the ocean as much as they can and start using less plastic. Animals are dying and are filled with plastic because they eat it thinking it is food. I think if this continues there will be animals going extinct and not just sea animals birds are being filled with plastic too.
    Thanks for writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because you made a lot of good points.

  2. Claire 7 months ago

    You say that the solution is to control where plastic ends up. I agree that it’s important to keep plastic out of the ocean, however I think the issue is far larger and requires a much more radical solution (eliminating certain plastics). I see where you’re coming from by saying that eliminating plastic bottles would put the public health at risk. However, by tackling the problem directly, real progress could be made instead of plastic numbers rising and piling up on our Earth. I think a viable solution would be to use alternatives to plastic made out of biodegradable material, which would address your public health concern and also prove to be more eco-friendly

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