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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.


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