Ban disposable plastic cups, plates and cutlery to help the environment
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Everyday use of plastic has become so commonplace that scientists have estimated that, by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. In fact, mankind has created so much plastic that some say it is likely to show up in future fossil fuels.
Plastic does not biodegrade and it only breaks down into smaller and smaller particles, which pose a significant danger for wildlife that cannot always distinguish them from food sources, particularly in oceans. Proof of this harm to wildlife is now regularly reported on and documented. In the last ten years we have produced more plastic than the whole of the last century. In the UK alone we use 275 000 tonnes of plastic a year which equates to 15 million bottles a day. The use of plastic is increasing in Western Europe by 4% every year.
Aside from ecosystem disruption, millions of barrels of oil are used every year in manufacturing plastic bags and utensils, playing what environmental activists call a significant role in climate change.
Several plastics have been classed as carcinogenic and as endocrine disrupters. This is extremely harmful to human health and many scientists feel that the threat posed by this toxicity is much greater than we are currently acknowledging.
Plastic has become a pervasive and hazardous form of litter in our environment. We live in a takeaway, throwaway society. Plastic is extremely durable, lightweight, cheap and versatile - meaning that it has replaced many traditional materials such as glass and wood. However no known natural process can break it down and there is now too much on the planet. We are quite literally drowning in it and it can never be removed. When it is incinerated, it releases toxic fumes, which are harmful to humans and the environment.
It is proposed, as a starting point, that we follow France and ban all plastic items, which are not made of compostable, biosourced materials. In doing so we will be promoting a “circular economy” of waste disposal, “from product design to recycling” and put simply supporting the world we live in - not polluting it unnecessarily.
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