Throwing Away the Throwaway Economy
Plastic waste is everywhere, choking turtles, festooning trees, littering beaches, and forming floating islands in the Pacific. The littering of the planet with single-use plastics stands as perhaps the most visible icon of the environmental irresponsibility of the throwaway economy. Cheap to fabricate, they help drive fossil fuel demand and can take thousands of years to degrade. The good news is that countries are starting to take action. According to a new UN report, nation-wide regulations curbing the use of plastics are soaring. There has been more action over the last four years than in the prior twenty-five years combined. What we need next is strong enforcement and nation-wide action from major culprits like the United States. There is much work to be done, but the momentum at the city, state, and national levels bodes well for consigning throw-away plastic to the garbage bin of history.