Yesterday, something small happened that brought into the light just how big the problems are. I was walking back to my apartment when a gust of wind came through the street. It knocked down a garbage pail right at my feet and its contents – namely a one-off plastic bag filled with remnants of someone’s lunch – went tumbling down the street. This is unfortunately a normal occurrence, but how do we abolish the root of the problem?
Living in a major city, the pollution really is out of control and it’s sad to see how little people really care. There’s been such a big movement toward using reusable bags and it’s good to see how much that’s picked up, but what about the people that simply don’t care? What about the people that stopped at a bodega for a sandwich and the cashier wastefully put it in a bag? The solution really should be to ban plastic bags (and for that matter, plastic in general). How is it 2013 and we’re still using all these horrible materials? I would have thought we would have a solution to this by now.
When I was in Europe, you had to pay if you wanted a bag, this would be a very easy way to help, if we could have an alternative to plastic bags that were biodegradable, that would be even better. You’re simply not going to convince everyone that this is a problem, so we have to think bigger. I know there are alternatives, but it seems to be inhibited by cost. How do we make things like this a priority? How do we make something like this a national or even better, world-wide change?