Although the movement has not reached a hurricane force, there is momentum to quit using plastic products because of their potential harm to the environment and wildlife in particular.
In the news lately have been reports of the harm to wildlife in our oceans from trash that contains high volumes of plastic products. In early June of this year, a whale died in Thailand after swallowing 17 pounds of plastic that it mistook for food. Two months before that a sperm whale turned up dead in Spain after ingesting nearly 64 pounds of plastic.
The trash we throw into oceans, rivers and lakes includes plastic products proved to be deadly for the wildlife. Environment Missouri has called for a ban on the most common forms of plastic pollution: polystyrene foam containers. Those and other single-use plastic products can be deadly for wildlife.
The proposed ban would be on foam cups and take-out containers made of polystyrene also known as Styrofoam. Environment Missouri says polystyrene foam is one of the worst kinds of plastic pollution. It’s difficult to recycle and therefore is thown in the trash. Light-weight it often blows away and ends up in our streams, lakes and oceans. Animals mistake it for food.
The warning from Environment Missouri is that these plastic products last forever. They do break down into smaller pieces, but do not fully decompose. Cities such as Portland, San Francisco and New York have banned polystyrene foam and some fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s plan to stop using it.
The plastic waste we discard is a deadly threat to the lives of birds, fish and other animals. It is a threat which will cause damage for centuries.
It made the news the other
A day when American Airlines announced it would stop using plastic straws and drink stirrers and replace them with biodegradable alternatives, which are available, such as straw and ones made from bamboo. American, the world’s largest airline, said it will eliminate more than 70,000 pounds of plastic a year. Alaska Airlines said it would phase out plastic straws and citrus picks this summer and replace them with sustainable, marine-friendly altenatives. Other airlines plan to do the same thing.
Starbucks and other fast-food campanies have announced they will phase out plastic straws and polystyrene foam cups from their stores by 2020. Hotels also are phasing out plastic products. Among the hotels, Hilton said it will remove straws from its 650 properties by the end of the year. That move will eliminate more than 35 million straws a year.
The world depends on all kinds of plastic products and to replace all of them with alternatives will take years. Many of the plastic products aren’t common throw-away products. The evolution of the uses for plastic products probably would surprise even the inventors of plastic.
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In recent columns we have listed candidates on the primary election ballot. We failed to mention candidates from parties other than Democratic and Republican.
The Libertarian Party has these candidates: Japheth Campbell, Springfield, who is running for U.S. senator; Sean O’Toole, Kansas City, a candidate for state auditor; and for U.S. representative, District 3, Donald V. Stolle, Arnold.
Under the Green Party banner, Jo Crain, Kansas City, and Jerome Bauer, St. Louis, are running for U.S. senator; and for state auditor, Don Fitz, St. Louis.
There is one Constitution Party candidate. Jacob Luetkemeyer, California, Mo., is running for state auditor.