Plastic, often considered the boon and bane of our times, cannot be ignored. Worldwide efforts to address the inundation of plastic shows that it has earned a spot on many national agenda. Earlier in 2019, several plastic resolutions were adopted at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) in Nairobi, Kenya, while a plastic convention seems to be on the horizon. Several efforts exist at all levels of government and in the business sector, but who is doing what?
Check outthe timeline and examples of worldwide governmental and corporate efforts.
Rwanda, plastic bag ban with fines and jail time
France plastic bag ban
France bans on plastic cups, plates, and utensils
Hamburg, Germany bans on non-recyclable plastic coffee pods
Morocco, plastic bag ban
Somerville and Cambridge, MA, plastic bag ban, extra charge for bags
Kenya, known for the harshest plastic bag ban with large fines and prison time
Vanuatu phased out plastic bags and bottles
Zimbabwe bans on expanded polystyrene with fines for use
New Delhi, India bans all single-use plastic
Plastic named stat of the year,
“ 90.5%, the estimated amount of plastic waste ever made that has never been recycled” credited to Roland Geyer, Jenna Jambeck, and Karen Lavender Law.
Taiwan restricts single-use plastics, built up existing recycling plans and charged extra for bags
Montreal bans single-use plastic bags with fines for use
Malibu, CA bans the sale, distribution, and use of straws, stirrers, and plastic utensils
The UK creates a 25-year plan including the immediate elimination of plastic microbeads and a ban of plastic straws and bottles
Seattle, WA bans plastic straws and utensils
Australia phases out and eventual ban of plastic bags
Canada bans microbeads
New York, plastic bag ban
Chile, plastic bag ban
California, partial ban on plastic straws
EU, single-use plastic ban
Washington, DC, plastic straw ban
San Diego, CA bans Styrofoam food and drink containers
Peru (2019) restricts single-use plastic
Starbucks (2020) plans to ban plastic straws
McDonald's (2018) phase-out straws in the UK and Ireland
Bacardi Rum (2018) will cut straw usage
Bon Appétit Management (2019) plan to reduce single-use plastic
Aramark (2022) plan to reduce single-use plastic
Alaska Airlines (2018) phase-out straws
American Airlines (2018) phase-out straws and cut plastic from lounges
Walt Disney Company (2019) cut down on straws and stirrers at all locations
Disney’s Animal Kingdom (1998) banned plastic lids and straws since opening
Carlsberg Beer (2018) removed plastic rings
Red Lobster (2020) will phase out straws
If you are frustrated with the list of efforts and want to know why plastic waste seems to be growing despite these efforts, check out Carole Excell’s 2019 article, 127 Countries Now Regulate Plastic Bags. Why Aren't We Seeing Less Pollution?
You can also read the UN Environment's report, Legal Limits on Single-Use Plastic: A Global Review of National Laws and Regulations, linked here.
If you have additional information that you would like to add, please do so in the comments section.