The Hawkeye

Single-use plastics should be banned

photo+courtesy+of+Tribune+Content+Agency+
photo courtesy of Tribune Content Agency

photo courtesy of Tribune Content Agency

photo courtesy of Tribune Content Agency

Raven Adcox, [email protected]

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Single-use plastics are absolutely horrible for the environment and should be banned. This issue isn’t a political one but a moral one.

People have been privileged with ease and comfort for too long and the US, especially, has a problem with being environmentally conscious.

Single-use plastics are meant to be disposed after use and can be things like grocery bags, cigarette butts, straws, fast food cutlery and other kinds of packaging. Anyone who thinks that single-use plastic items are necessary needs to reevaluate their life.

In 2015, a research team analyzed the number of plastic waste left in landfills after mass-production, and the results found were shocking. Almost 80 percent of the plastic we waste just sits in landfills, never to be properly dealt with. Nine percent is recycled and another 12 percent is burned.

I will admit, I am one of the people needing a life change. I have been using disposable plastics my entire life and never thought twice about it. However, I would be lying if I said I didn’t realize the negative impact these products have on the environment. I can’t take back the hundreds, probably thousands of plastic straws and Walmart bags I’ve used, but I can change those habits starting today. We all can.

Some critics say that finding a solution would be too difficult, as so many people use single-use plastics daily, but I disagree. All it takes to fix this issue is to work towards a solution now. We cannot spend anymore time arguing over specifics.

If everyone could simply agree that using disposable plastics does more harm than good, we would be off to a great start. An actual desire to create a positive and prosperous alternative to mass-produced plastic waste is needed for a solution to actually work.

Laws are in place today that aren’t properly enforced. I don’t know a person in my life who has been fined for littering while driving. I know multiple people in my life, however, who have littered while driving.

According to an article from the National Geographic, Americans use a mind blowing 500 million straws each day. And, over eight million tons of plastic waste fill oceans each year.

It’s hard to fathom that US officials would use an issue like this for political reasons, but it happens often and needs to stop. Over 60 countries have introduced bans on single-use plastics with the help of the United Nations Environment agency. The only issue has been with follow-through.

At the end of the day, people don’t usually care unless it’s directly affecting them. I think this mindset is a sad way to look at the world and shows the true character of people, countries and governments alike.  

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The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe
Single-use plastics should be banned