Via The Christian Post:
“The European Commission has proposed a gradual phase-out of disposable plastic products, including plastic straws, cutlery, and cotton buds, across larger Europe. This new move is part of a global campaign to cut down on plastic waste that find their way to shores and bodies of water.
These new rules, when approved, could be fully in place by the year 2030.
The EU proposal, which was brought forth on Monday, May 28, is also focused on the ten plastic products that are among the most encountered in Europe’s beaches and surrounding waters.”
I am against big government in general as it usually causes more trouble than it solves, but I tend to agree with banning single-use plastic items such as water bottles, bags, straws, etc.
There are a lot of formerly beautiful beaches in the world with plastic junk all over them. You’ll see drifts of plastic bags in the water and plastic bottles and caps all over the shorelines. When a litterbug chucks paper and cardboard items onto the ground, they break down in the environment. When they throw glass bottles into the ocean, they are busted up and returned to sand by the action of the waves. The plastic is awful stuff, though. There are people in the world capable of restraining their trash and keeping roadsides clean and beaches nice – but much of the world seems unable to do so. Reusable items and items that break down make sense to me. I always cringe when I go shopping and see produce wrapped in layers of Styrofoam and plastic, then it’s bagged up in plastic bags, then we go home and throw all the plastic away in another plastic trash bag… I mean, geez. It’s just layers and layers of trash. I’d rather be able to compost paper bags or return bottles to a bottling plant or recycle aluminum. I just can’t find it in my free market capitalist heart to say “don’t ban plastic trash!”
I do think the market would fix the problem if enough people change their minds; however, with all the plastic trash swirling around the ocean and ended up in our food supply and trashing up our beaches, I’m leaning towards “enough is enough… take the trash away.”
What do you think? Am I missing something here?
*Image at top by Rey Perezoso. CC License.
The problem is that while the EU and parts of the U.S. implement these bans other countries like China and India w ont. They are the BIGGEST offenders of pollution. It’s no different than the gun argument. Bad people do bad things and good people are punished for it.
There is a supermarket chain down here called Aldi. If you want plastic bags you have to pay for them. You can take all the cardboard boxes their products arrive in for free, but bags you buy. Trader Joe’s uses paper bags exclusively. If corporations were more responsible we would t need government to step in…and even where it does step in the worst offenders will still continue to offend.
That’s a good point as well. Here there’s a ton of trash washing up on otherwise pristine beaches and the locals often have parties and leave plastic and styrofoam trash all over. If it were biodegradable or done as they used to before plastic – sea grape leaves and banana fronds, calabash bowls, etc. – it would be awesome. Is government they way to get there? Probably not, but I would love to see all that plastic gone.
For clarification…i don’t agree with the disposable lifestyle some in the U.S. have adopted. I have two kids, a dog and a cat and 7 chickens. I take one bag of trash to the curb on trash day for our entire family. I try to reuse or recycle in some way everything I can. I just don’t think the government is there to sommlve all of our problems.
I’m of two minds about it. It drives me NUTS that I can’t reduce our plastic trash to zero. Even our junk mail arrives with little plastic windows on the envelopes and little plastic fake credit cards, so I can’t just chuck it in the burn trash, but must carefully dismember it into its “burn” and “don’t burn” components. I’m not totally against the govt. getting involved in the problem, but… I’d like to see some test cases– like maybe a couple of states take on the project, see how it goes. There’s often a large gap between intent and implementation.
Yeah, it’s really a pain. And you’re right. I’ve also heard that the USGOV is one of the biggest pollutors.
The problem with the state being involved is that for every bee rule imposed there is a group who lobbied for that change, lined the pockets if those who enacted it, and stand to make a lot of money from the consequence. Rule if thumb…follow the money. There is always a money trail. Politicians who genuinely care rarely get elected because they usually don’t have deep enough pockets.
Very good point. This is why I’m not onboard with the climate change hysteria. It may be happening, but the proposed solutions are often boondoggles. Too much money and special interests involved. Follow the money!
I have the same dilemma when it comes to government regulation of the environment. One would hope that free market capitalism would be able to address the problem without government intervention, but history has shown this to generally not be the case (as the EPA Superfund site list proves).
Should government regulate factories and plants who pollute the common air and water supplies?
Should government control zoning to prohibit pig farming next to residential areas?
Should government specify where airports can be located to control noise pollution?
These are all facets of the same question.
Right. Some of these could be considered “for the public good,” but man…
One thing’s for sure… those who stock up now on plastic straws are gonna make a killing in the black market!
The black market is the real free market!
Fun fact… Papaya leaf stems work great as straws. Not to mention, they look cool stuck in a freshly opened coconut.
True, though they do impart a little bit of latex flavor.
I’m right there with you, David. I’m very conflicted on this kind of thing too. Also as to the holding litterers accountable. On one hand I’d love to see them dealt with quite harshly; ala Singapore-type treatment. But I also hate empowering our modern governments with more tools to use against their enemies (which is usually “us”, not the real criminals). Too much anarcho-tyranny these days to trust governments with more power.
Yeah, totally. Give them an inch, next thing you know they’re busting in doors and stealing your stuff.