Home | About | Donate

As Planet Chokes on Plastic Waste, UN Reports Offers Roadmap to Tackle Global Crisis


As Planet Chokes on Plastic Waste, UN Reports Offers Roadmap to Tackle Global Crisis

Jessica Corbett, staff writer

In what's being called "hope for a better planet on #WorldEnvironmentDay," a United Nations report published Tuesday found "surging momentum in global efforts" to eradicate single-use plastics while also warning that poor enforcement is hindering regulations and bans worldwide.


When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

Frederic Bastiat

I applaud every proposition arising from diversity in addressing matters.

Because the style of the news - across the board - is single issue focus, we also suffer from a constant contraction of vision, capacity to identify and stay engaged with each other toward common goals. This, I would submit, is one of the reasons that THE lithium grease has been ‘market[ing]’ focus.

As salient today as when it was first produced, some might find The Four Horsemen worth revisiting


Please sign petition to tackle the plastics crisis:


Those ten point look like an excellent plan, but expect the biggest consumer and discarder of plastics, the USA to completely ignore it. Corporation would literally hire death squads and kill people before they would accept limitation on the un-recyclable plastic crap they package their stuff in. And Trump will give them all a wink and a nod. And no, Hillary would not have been “just as bad”.


Wow, this is a great set of policy proposals – for forty years ago.

Incremental shifts starting in the 1970s would have us in good position today. The ecology is so distressed now, we need stronger measures than a bunch of studies and incremental shifts. We are in IMMEDIATE CRISIS, and need swift strong fundamental changes to the economy, away from single-focus extraction, investor profits and “gross national product,” toward holistic ecological accounting and social measures of economic health. Away from capitalism, toward eco-socialism.

Without fundamental structural change in the economy, more studies and incrementalism are effectively pointless, and ecological catastrophe is all but guaranteed, not in some distant future but visible on the horizon.


I love your intentions natureboy. But a Petition?..Please. Petitions stopped helping the day America’s soul died. …


I think it is well past time you removed that “but.”


From 1967, this is why the precautionary principle needs to be included in everyone’s curriculum:


But how will your children go to Disneyland if you don’t have plastic?


Another “roadmap” to the obvious. We don’t need any more damned roadmaps to anything. The solution is to MANDATE the production, distribution and use of plastics as soon as is logistically possible. The same is true for nuclear power and weapons, CBW, civilian guns in the U.S., carbon-based power, toxic chemicals, many/most drugs, etc.

All of these products are now the result of the political-economy of capitalism. So organizing to build enough power to deal with that is the starting point. Don’t need no weather vanes. Don’t need no roadmaps.

But I’ll Tweet one when I get the time and I’m sure that’s all we need to begin a global revolution.

TWEET-TWEET! Now we all know.


They left out the fundamental reason that humans are a mass extinction event fouling the entire planet: overpopulation.
Until we reduce human population growth and educate the entire human species that every child born is a nail in the biosphere’s coffin, we aren’t serious about saving the biosphere and biodiversity.


Correction: "…MANDATE an end to…


Nope. In a capitalist system, the global population could be only a hundred million and with entirely doable levels of mechanization and automation, the levels of resource exploitation and pollution would be the same. It’s just the average per-capita income and consumption would be greater - although there would still be the same proportions of poverty.


I always hear these kinds of excuses for those who try to defend human population growth.
These excuses are blatantly unscientific.
Every human born, no matter what economic system is in place, is a consumer and polluter who has a net negative effect on native flora and fauna, native ecosystems, and the biosphere itself.
Obviously capitalism and consumerism are earth-killers, but every human born inevitably becomes another contributor to anthropogenic mass extinction in varying ways and degrees.
The time has come to educate humans that the worship of human birth and increasing population is ecocidal.


I tried using grocery paper bags for garbage , but with all the forests being decimated, that seemed like a bad idea. My state has a ban on plastic bags…except now I see really thick plastic bags—are they in the ocean too along with the thin plastic bags?
I have some bags made out of cotton material----but how am I to put used kitty litter in the garbage? Should I get all glass containers and what do I do with the Tupperware—I can’t throw it in the garbage! In fact all the neighbors put their garbage into BIG plastic garbage bags and throw those into the dumpster------------do these kinds of plastic bags leak decomposing plastic into groundwater near landfills?
I did read that some people in France take different kinds of packaging to the store, their own—like glass —and get pasta from covered bins without the cardboard package-------------how did people in the olden days---------like back before WW2 carry grocery items home?
I worry about eating fish because of all the plastic in the ocean which the fish eat— and I would be eating the fishy plastic -------------maybe people don’t have clogged arteries with fats-----maybe it’s plastic! -------Read the short novel ICE NIINE by Kurt Vonnegut-and see how. we the polluters have been a problem for a long while Any suggestions for shopping and garbage?


Sometimes I think of tweeting like the voices of the Who’s in Horton Hears a Who - you never know if your “yawp” could be the one to put the cacophony over the top.


My local garbage company recently reduced the kinds of things they will accept for recycling. They explained that there were no longer any buyers for low grade recyclable plastic, so we have to put them in the trash now. They said they had been shipping them to China, but now China produces so much plastic waste, they no longer want to buy plastic waste shipped from North America.


Thank you, DavidCarson! I’ve always said that humans are the consumer species. The opposite of the so-called “sanctity of human life” notion is the “in-sanctity and desecration” of all nonhuman life worldview. Which I challenge.


Have you tried kitty litter that is compostable or flushable? I’ve seen some made of things like peanut shells. I saw an ad for a device that claimed to be able to wash and reuse kitty litter, but never tried it.


To be fair, the UN did a report on population years ago. It attempted to answer the question of what global population would be sustainable, and the answer was of course it depends on their average consumption. They came up with a number of two billion if everyone consumed at the high rates of the U.S., and 20 billion if everyone consumed at the very low rates of people in third world poverty. So, potentially we could maintain the current global population if average consumption was reduced, but the reverse seems to be happening with large populations like China moving from rural consumption patterns to U.S. type consumption. But I think your point was right that as long as growth is increasing, we will soon be beyond the limits of the planet if we are not already.