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Plastic Action Around the World

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

To learn more about global plastic bag bans click here and for efforts in the United States, visit,

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.

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