Charge a disposal fee for all plastics
What makes plastics so compelling is that consumers do not pay for the disposal of the residual plastic. This makes their initial cost much lower. It is the city municipality, state or country that pays for the disposal, long after the consumer throws out the product. It is this discrepancy of who buys the plastic product and who disposes the product that we need to narrow. Municipalities run using tax payer money, so in the end we all pay for plastic disposal. What should really happen is that those that use plastic the most should pay more for their disposal.
Do not use plastics for products that can be made by organic materials
Plastic bags were once ubiquitous here in Toronto. We once had a ban on plastic bags, but unfortunately this was overturned. We now have a voluntary plastic bag charge at many stores, which has cut down on the plastic bags blown by the wind and then stuck in trees. There is nothing more disconcerting that to see a lovely and natural tree with a bunch of plastic bags caught on the upper limbs.
Reuse Plastic Products
In some cases plastic is the best material. In order to reduce unnecessary disposal these plastic products should be robustly made. Low quality plastic products that are disposable should be minimized, as their disposal costs are quite high.
Addendum 2018 June 02 Why Chile is banning plastic bags at retail businesses: Chile gives large retailers and supermarkets 6 months, and small/medium sized shops 2 years
2018 June 04 Dear Canadians, your addiction to plastic needs a cure: here is more talk at high levels all without addressing the root of the problem, that we Canadians are addicted to single-use plastics. This does not tackle personal consumption.
Canada has said it plans to make plastics one of the key themes at the Group of Seven leaders’ summit in Charlevoix, Que., next week, and last fall, Canada signed on to the United Nations Clean Seas campaign, launched in February, 2017, to draw public attention to the enormous amounts of garbage that are ending up in the world’s oceans. Canada has even committed as much as $2-billion to ocean protection, including vital initiatives such as increasing the amount of protected marine areas…
Solutions to the plastic problem are twofold. First, there is the removal of the plastics currently overwhelming our oceans. Second – and, I believe, most importantly – we must stop plastics from getting into the oceans in the first place…
Canadians also lead the developed world in per-capita production of garbage.
Yes, it’s true, when it comes to absolute consumerism excess and waste, Canadians are the current worldwide gold standard, generating 720 kilograms per capita of waste annually. That’s estimated to be twice that of Japan, and 7 per cent higher per capita than the United States.
It is interesting to note that the developing countries have so much less of a plastic problem but also have multiple times the number of people. Note population differences when looking at this graph:
|Canada 32M||Thailand 69M||Indonesia 261M||Philippines 103M||South Korea 51M|
|Multiples of Canada
It is very clear that Canada is a very wasteful user of plastics.
2019 Nov 04 The World Is Stuck With Decades of New Plastic It Can’t Recycle
We’ve been hoodwinked into thinking recycling is a solution. Quartz, by Zoë Schlanger
As it stands, the companies that make plastic are not responsible for the end of life of their product. Neither are the companies that use the plastic to make or package their own products. Instead, the cost of collecting, sorting, and recycling plastic is borne by taxpayers.
…Since opposition to plastic pollution began during the dawn of the environmental movement in the 1960s, the plastic and packaging industries have been fighting to make their products without absorbing the cost of cleaning it up. Since they don’t currently bear those costs, companies continue to design packaging—multi-layered chip bags, multi-part plastic juice boxes—that can’t be recycled at all. Meanwhile, they’ve poured resources into messaging campaigns that blame pollution on bad consumer habits.