What does being radically progressive look like? Banning all plastic.

"We need to hurry along the process and call for the banning of all non-recyclable products."

There is a pile of plastic in the middle Pacific Ocean the size of Texas and it is helping to kill our oceans. This is not the only garbage patch, there are several choking our sea life. We have created 6.3 billion tonnes of plastics and two thirds of it has ended up in our natural environment. This is not sustainable and people in politics should be playing a larger role in calling for an end to this destructive cycle.

We’ve been moving in the right direction for a little while now with improvements in recycling and a strong market for selling recyclable waste with business’ recognising and moving towards less wasteful practises. Wetherspoons is a great example of a business that for the most part only uses products with recyclable packaging and then makes sure to recycle all of it and sell it back to producers, making your pint that bit cheaper. What’s been even better than the market doing its work is the government enforcing a charge for plastic carrier bags and through it stopping 2 billion bags a year filling that draw in your kitchen.

Anyone who’s been to some bars recently would’ve noticed the emergence of white and red card straws as a replacement to plastic and they’re brilliant. The market is adjusting and using recyclable materials for everyday use in place of plastic, which is brilliant but we haven’t reached peak yet. It always takes time for society to adjust to a new normal, a country without non-recyclable plastic should be that new normal. That’s why we need to hurry along the process and call for the banning of all non-recyclable products.

The world eco system is at a turning point. Humans impact on the planet has been vast causing devastation to forests and any wooded area, a near extinction event for most species that have existed just to be killed off or over consumed and changes the atmosphere through our consumption of fermented dinosaurs. This is before we’ve spoken about what we’ve done to each other through history. But with prevailing technological change and an emerging societal norm for transparency we are coming up with solutions that will mean we survive as a species on this planet.

Whether its battery technology emerging from Draxler in the midlands, off-shore wind farms visible from party conference in Brighton, recycling at its highest ever level and people making a conscious choice not to use certain products, this country going down the right road. But we are not moving fast enough and if we are to make a difference in the world we need to show leadership and get other countries to follow. How do we start that? By being radical and banning all non-recyclable products.

 Adam Allnutt is a Young Fabian member

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