- EWC Community
Do Single-Use Plastic Bans Work?
By: Kobe Cheng
An article by BBC by Axelle Parriaux posted on July 13, 2022, asks, do single-use
plastic bans work? The problems caused by plastic waste are rapidly increasing around the
globe, but it still serves a valuable purpose in food packaging.
Plastic straws are getting harder and harder to come by in several countries. For
example, in the UK, plastic straws and coffee stirrers were banned at the end of 2020. Earlier
than this, in 2018, Australia banned plastic bags. In July 2022, India banned plastic food
packaging, straws, and cutlery.
Plastic is very convenient in terms of packaging food, but plastic waste is not very
helpful. 275 million tonnes of plastic were produced just in 2018. Plastic waste will go up 70%
by 2050, due to the world population which is anticipated to double by then. Plastic packaging is the biggest source of plastic waste. There was more than three times the amount of waste generated from packaging than its second most wich was a plastic textile waste.
In Germany, 56% of plastic waste is recycled. It’s followed by South Korea, Austria, and
Wales. However, in the world, only 15% of plastics are recycled, but 40% of the waste is
refused due to contamination, etc. So in total, only 9% of waste is being recycled.
In France, cucumbers, which might once have been wrapped in clear plastic film, are
now delivered to supermarkets in containers made of alternative materials. "Plastic is most
commonly replaced with cardboard," Osadnick says, "but food can be damaged more easily in
cardboard causing more food waste in transport, and it weighs much heavier [which] means in
turn that more lorries are needed to carry the same quantity of product. Transport weighs
heavily in the life cycle of food. In the end, it often turns out to be more polluting to use
cardboard wrapping than plastic, when the entire food production chain is considered."
Plastic is very affordable, it's so inexpensive that we just throw it away after one time.
It’s one of the most useful materials, but the waste it causes is hurting us. Before plastic get
banned everywhere, we should think of the three “R’s”:. Reduce, reuse and recycle.