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  • Sammy Melnick

RECYCLING ALONE WON'T SOLVE THE PLASTIC PROBLEM.

Updated: Feb 16, 2020


A substantial majority of Americans think the U.S. government should do “whatever it takes to protect the environment” according to a 2016 Pew Research Poll. What effective governmental action should look like must include incentives for using recycled plastics in manufacturing and disincentives to market products with single-use plastics from bottles, bags, cups and straws.


Plastic producers have lobbied against legislation because it would reduce their profit margins. Plastic producers fight bag bans under the guise of defending customers’ finances and freedom to choose which is a smoke screen to defeat legislation that has attempted to control plastic's single use and resulting pollution. Notwithstanding a significant amount of evidence of the harm it causes to local communities and the world’s oceans, no governmental action has materialized yet. Recycling is not effective in most of the U.S. and lacks the proper incentives to make it work well.


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