Ban of Disposable Plastics in the U.S.
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There is an increasing concern about the pollution of disposable plastics in the land and waters across the United States and the hazards they subject to the environment around us. The U.S. produces a staggering 32 million tons of plastic waste and only around nine percent is recovered for recycling. However despite this, a vast majority of it ends up in landfills. But with so much of this product mass-produced in the market and having such a financial grip on our daily lives with the economy we are only beginning to realize the affects it has on local waterways and our oceans.
Some 10 million to 20 million tons of plastic enter the oceans every year in the U.S. waters and it's economy depends on well over $375 Billion indirectly on In 2014, the ocean economy, which includes six economic sectors that depend on the ocean and Great Lakes, contributed more than $352 billion to the U.S. GDP and supported 3.1 million jobs. In a sense it pays us to keep the oceans clean for the sustainability of natural resources such as fish and the overall health of the average American who consumes 15.5 pounds of seafood a year. 2004, the ocean-dependent economy generated $138 billion or 1.2% of U.S. GDP. Coastal tourism & recreation dominated both employment and GDP in the ocean economy sectors with 1.7 million jobs (75%) of employment and nearly $70 billion (51%) of GDP.
With these statistics in mind, the ocean is expected to contain one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050 plastic debris is said to weigh more in total in our oceans than the total weight of fish that have been in it. In turn, when plastics do get into the environment they break down under sunlight based reactions and erosion creating smaller bits killing fish, seabirds and marine mammals by physical entanglement, gastrointestinal blockage, reef destruction and chemical threats to both land and water based wildlife. Although plastics in the remote areas of the oceans (like the "Pacific garbage patch") garner the most media attention, they are not the only water bodies polluted by plastics. Plastic trash and particles are now found in most marine and terrestrial habitats, including the deep sea, Great Lakes, coral reefs, beaches, rivers, and estuaries of the U.S.
An annual spending, according to TakePart.com, of $13 Billion in total is spent constantly cleaning up the tons of plastics, in just our oceans, floating and dumped on our shorelines. But with plastic production planning to expand and increase with an averaged growth of some 8.7% between recorded years 1950 to 2012 the costs will rise as well to clean it up.
As a means to combat this national and environmental issue those who sign would like to express our a push in change in the production of disposable plastics to a greater alternative or with issued laws and or requirements for investing in biodegradable plastic products that do not remain ,for hundreds of years, in the areas outside our doorsteps which the U.S. relies so heavily upon for our recreation, business, and enjoyment what our nation has to offer.
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