Today, people are starting to pay attention to the plastic problem. In Africa, Kenya has joined a list of nations that ban plastic bags. If you break the rule, you get fined or sent to jail! France said it would ban plastic plates and cups by 2020.
Corporations are helping, too. Coca‑Cola also produces bottled water. It hopes to “collect and recycle” all of its packaging by 2030. Companies like PepsiCo and Unilever have promised to convert to 100 percent reusable or recyclable packaging by 2025.
This plastic is ready to be recycled.
System 001, created by Boyan Slat, is a floating cleanup system designed to collect ocean plastic.
People like Boyan Slat, 24, from the Netherlands, also make a difference. He vows to clean up a large garbage patch in the North Pacific. His organization plans to build an ocean‑sweeping system to collect trash. Solutions can be found. People can make a difference. Even you!
San Francisco’s largest recycling plant handles up to 600 tons of materials a day.
Ten Things You Can Do
Give up plastic bags.
Take your own reusable bags to the store. A trillion plastic shopping bags are used worldwide every year.
Skip plastic straws.
Americans toss 500 million plastic straws every day, or about 1.5 per person.
Pass up plastic bottles.
Invest in a refillable water bottle. Around the world, nearly a million disposable plastic bottles are sold every minute.
Avoid plastic packaging.
Buy bar soap instead of liquid. Buy in bulk. Avoid produce covered in plastic. And while you’re at it, give up plastic plates and cups.
Recycle what you can.
Globally, 18 percent of all plastic is recycled. Europe manages 30 percent, China 25 percent, and the United States only nine percent.
Snack on fruit.
Instead of snack packs that have extra packaging, pack an apple, banana, or orange.
Use a better bag.
Pack sandwiches and snacks in reusable containers or cloth sacks instead of plastic bags.
Choose a cone.
Go without plastic spoons and cups and have your ice cream in a cone.
Pick up what you can.
Grab an adult and pick up trash near a local river. Be careful: Never pick up anything that looks sharp or dangerous.