Another victim of Covid-19: World’s plan to ditch single-use plastic

Just weeks in the past, cities and even states throughout the US had been busy banning straws, limiting takeout containers and mandating that customers convey reusable baggage or pay a small payment for one at shops. This was half of a motion to eradicate single-use plastics, not simply within the US however many nations the world over.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had referred to as for a ban on single-use plastic from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15 final yr. “During my 2014 speech, I spoke about cleanliness. It became a movement in the country and the common man took it up with gusto. Today, I have another request. By October 2, on the birth anniversary of Dear Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi), I want to urge citizens to give up single-use plastic,” Modi had mentioned in his tackle on the 73rd Independence Day.

In a matter of days, hard-won bans to scale back the use of plastics and significantly plastic purchasing sacks throughout the US have come beneath hearth amid worries in regards to the virus clinging to reusable baggage, cups and straws.

Governors in Massachusetts and Illinois have banned or strongly discouraged the use of reusable grocery baggage. Oregon suspended its brand-new ban on plastic baggage this week, and cities from Bellingham, Washington, to Albuquerque, New Mexico, have introduced a hiatus on plastic bag bans because the rages.

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Add to {that a} rise in takeout and a ban on reusable cups and straws on the few espresso shops that stay open, and environmentalists fear Covid-19 might set again their efforts to sort out plastic air pollution for years.

People are scared for his or her lives, their livelihood, the financial system, feeding their family members, so the atmosphere is taking a again seat, Glen Quadros, proprietor of the Great American Diner & Bar in Seattle, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

Quadros has laid off 15 workers and seen a 60 per cent decline in enterprise since Seattle all however shut down to gradual the pandemic. For now, he is utilizing biodegradable containers for takeout and supply, however these merchandise price up to thrice greater than plastic they usually’re getting arduous to discover as a result of of the surge in takeout, he mentioned.

The plastics trade within the US has seized the second and is lobbying arduous to overturn bans on single-use plastics by arguing disposable plastics are the most secure possibility amid the disaster. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont have statewide bans on plastic baggage, and Oregon and California have legal guidelines limiting the use of plastic straws.

New York’s statewide plastic bag ban is on maintain as a result of of a lawsuit.

The US Plastics Industry Association not too long ago despatched a letter to Alex Azar, head of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and requested him to converse out in opposition to plastic bag bans as a result of they put shoppers and employees in danger. And the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance is doubling down on its opposition to plastic bag bans beneath a preexisting marketing campaign titled Bag the Ban.

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If these baggage coming into the shop are contaminated with something, they get placed on the conveyor belt, the counter, and also you’re placing your self in a foul spot, mentioned Matt Seaholm, govt director of the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance.

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