The residents of Concord made history last week by voting to ban all sales of bottled water by next January. Treehugger reports:
The effort was led by Jean Hill, an 82-year old activist, who lobbied neighbors and officials alike on the consequences of plastic bottles filling landfills and polluting local waters. “All these discarded bottles are damaging our planet, causing clumps of garbage in the oceans that hurt fish, and are creating more pollution on our streets,” says Hil. “This is a great achievement to be the first in the country to do this. This is about addressing an injustice.”
I’m an advocate of ditching the disposable lifestyle wherever possible, and laws like this make that process a lot easier. Plastic bottles are so ingrained in our culture that, at first, it’s hard to imagine surviving without them. But once you buy that one reusable bottle — and actually carry it with you — you realize how unnecessary plastic bottles are. I chose the Klean Kanteen because it’s basically indestructible (and believe me, mine’s taken a beating). I expect that one Kanteen to last a lifetime, replacing thousands of plastic containers.
Disposable plastic bottles have plenty of problems, but that doesn’t stop the industry from objecting to the new ban (not that I can blame them). They argue that “thousands of food, medicinal, beauty and cleaning products packaged in plastic.” Which is a good argument for eliminating all plastic containers.
Here’s a quote I like better:
If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age. ~Jacques Barzun
I think that applies to waste-plastic as well.
Enlarge the infographic at left to see a great outline of the problems with plastic.