It’s Time to Ban Single Use Plastic Bottles

This past summer I removed hundreds of plastic bottles from the ocean near our boat. Our sailboat is docked a mere 20 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean and far closer than that for power boats. Most of the plastic bottles were water brands you would purchase in your local supermarket or pharmacy. They included, Dasani, Poland Spring, Aquafina, Nestle, Fiji and Evian. My mistake this past summer was not posting to social media, every plastic bottle I pulled from the ocean. I won’t make that same error this upcoming season when we splash the boat following the winter. I mention these brands because all of them are complicit in aiding to the polluting of our oceans. They need to be held to account for their lack of social conscience. Beverage companies shouldn’t wait until single use plastic bottles are banned to take action.

We have made some progress, following the elimination of plastic bags in supermarkets and plastic straws in restaurants, but this varies widely by state. Only ten states including New York and New Jersey have banned plastic bags. Kudos to our Canadian friends to the north who are moving forward with Phase 1 of their plan to ban single use plastic. Starting in December of 2022, the following products will be banned: checkout bags, cutlery, takeout containers, stir sticks and straws. A complete plastic ban is scheduled to go into effect by 2030. This phased approach is necessary as we are all so dependent on plastic for so many products. It’s challenging to find replacements, and in some cases, replacements don’t yet exist. But it must be done in order to save our environment.

The reason I’m so adamant about banning single use plastic bottles is twofold. First, they do so much damage to the environment, and wildlife that to do nothing, is morally wrong. Second, it’s something we can tackle immediately. It’s very different from climate change, in that no matter what we do now, it will take years or decades to implement serious change. We don’t yet have the technology or the ability to end the use of petroleum without people’s lives’ being at risk and economies collapsing. That’s simply reality. Climate change remedies will happen slowly, over time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. However, people could simply stop buying single use plastic bottles today and purchase reusable alternatives which already exist. It would force the beverage companies to find alternatives until local governments and eventually the federal government take action to ban plastic bottles.

I’m imploring all retailers who sell cases of water and single use plastic bottles and the consumers who purchase them, to please cease immediately. There are so many alternatives including reusable bottles, that it would take very little effort to change our habits. It would also save money over time. Personally, I dislike drinking anything from plastic opting instead for reusable glass bottles or cans which are both easily recycled. Beverages in glass bottles taste better. Plastic doesn’t hold up well in the heat and plastic has been found floating in the solutions, and obviously ingested, which isn’t healthy. No one knows how long these plastic bottles sit in warehouses and stockroom prior to being sold. When the warmer weather returns, I will be posting again on this very serious issue that shouldn’t require government intervention, to be resolved.

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