Ending Plastic Pollution

Plastic Pollution will never be stopped by telling people to stop buying straws, or by public projects to reduce the amount of plastic that gets loose in the environment. Such “feel-good” programs help increase public awareness, but have little practical impact. Most plastic pollution (like all pollution) comes from industrial sources. The only way to reduce plastic pollution of the environment is to change the composition of plastics so that they degrade safely over time. All consumer products and disposable plastic uses (packaging, temporary shipping and construction containers, etc.) should be required to be composed of this type of degradable plastic. As an example of a similar successful effort, when there was concern over the ozone hole being created by refrigerants, there was a push to try to prevent the release of refrigerants from discarded refrigerators and air conditioners; but the only way that problem was resolved was by phasing in new refrigerant chemicals that did not degrade atmospheric ozone, and phasing out the old refrigerant chemicals – by law and by international treaty, with economic sanctions directed at those countries and companies that did not comply. The same approach must be used to require the conversion to degradable plastics.

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