Home | About | Donate

More Than Two-Thirds of UN Members Embrace Global Plastic Pollution Treaty—But Not the US

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/16/more-two-thirds-un-members-embrace-global-plastic-pollution-treaty-not-us

1 Like

Americans are the most obesely excessive consumers and polluters on this planet per capita.
Consumerism, waste and pollution are built into every facet of our economy and culture.
No matter what treaties we are or aren’t in, 99% of Americans “vote” for anthropogenic mass extinction via their lifestyle choices, including making new children instead of adopting, travel, using machine-powered toys, eating animals, gluttony, living large, driving huge vehicles, etc.
The sad thing is, the oceans are filled with microplastics, and so are we.

10 Likes

Are you serious? The Biden administration supporting a ban on single-use plastic? Not. A. Chance. His Republican-lite leadership will do nothing that would offend their corporate donors. When will people understand that Biden is not progressive in his beliefs, inclinations, or actions?

7 Likes

Most Americans alive today can’t remember a time when their lives were not filled with plastic.

5 Likes

Have been reading a book, The Myth of Chinese Capitalism, which describes a society bent on consumption at the expense of the environment. The only reason China is not number one in polluting the planet is the inequality that exists there: the Eastern region is rich and the Western region poor. They are working like crazy to increase consumption in the West. It’s the Wild West over there as it was here in the twenties. The US is not the only society devoted to unhealthy and unsustainable lifestyles.

3 Likes

Top 10 plastic producers in the world:

CROW’s Top 10 Plastics and Resins Producers

  • Exxon Mobil . …
  • SABIC . Global sales: $35.4 billion. …
  • INEOS. Global sales: $60 billion. …
  • BASF. Global sales: $65.4 billion. …
  • ENI. Global sales: $89.4 billion. …
  • LG Chem. Global sales: $25.5 billion. …
  • Chevron Phillips. Global sales: $158.9 billion. …
  • Lanxess. Global sales: $7.9 billion.

Consider what we could do with those billions of dollars other than pollute every living thing on the planet. (Note these are global statistics)

4 Likes

Buying is a lot like voting. Look for merchandise in glass bottles and avoid single use plastic. Unless you live in Flint, Michigan or know your water is contaminated, it is a good bet that your tap water is just as clean or cleaner than bottled water. Your “vote” counts.

5 Likes

America or more accurately the conservative ruling power elite that control America will not cooperate with any organization, program, policy or agenda that puts the needs of the people before the profits of the greedy.

3 Likes

The only way to fight plastic pollution is to severely limit plastic production IMO. That would offend the fossil fuel industry, so that’s not going to happen. Anyone remember the campaign that brought us plastic grocery bags, telling the citizens if we didn’t switch, we would destroy our forests, a lie. When that campaign happened, we still had “truth in advertising” laws in this country, but no one was fined for the lies.

3 Likes

US of Abuse-4% of the global population. Uses 25% of global resources. Uses over 60% of psychoactive medications, legal and illegal, from Prozac to Xanax to anti-depression meds. Add in alcohol consumption and you pretty much have proof that money and possessions do NOT buy happiness…QED

2 Likes

Carol,

Thanks for your astute, heartfelt contributions.

Not sure of the exact % but I agree with your sentiment.

Some people right now are celebrating that the stock market is going to hit 30,000 as it goes up, up, up over a covid vaccine.

Yet a critical mass of people will not address what it would take (or would it would have taken for I feel it’s too late) to keep the planet habitable.

People want quick fixes for everything without addressing what will soon kill most if not all life on earth.

While I support safe vaccines to stop serious illnesses I am devastated that the root causes of suffering (which include how/why pathogens will get worse with AGW) and destruction of ecosystems are not addressed.

There are people dying from covid who are in denial about the science:

“Nurse: Some patients who test positive refuse to believe they have Covid-19”

The disconnections, the willful ignorance from way too many people leaves me feeling that there is no way out of the many crises that are human induced.

We will have to resort to geo-engineering which I have always been adamantly opposed to. Wonder when that will be?
Getting closer to BOE and after . . . . . some say curtain down.

1 Like

True but like one told me: " JUST GIVE ME THE $$$ AND LET ME BUY THE KIND OF UNHAPPINESS I WANT".

2 Likes

To be fair, the US People (a large majority of them, I suspect) do support international measures to reduce consumption of plastic.

The US government, however, is opposed to such measures. The US government does not represent the US people. It represents transnational capital. It is not really a “U.S. government” at all. It is a parasite on the world that uses Washington, DC – and the U.S. treasury, and the U.S. military – as instruments to advance the interests of private capital. Let’s be candid, shall we?

3 Likes

I don’t even think this is the right answer. Here is my speech for Biden to give:

We have a big plastic pollution problem. But unlike many difficult problems we face that involve trade offs or difficult changes to make, we are at a point in the understanding of compostable plastics to have a win win solution. How many of you are sick of washing a plastic container and not knowing if it is really going to be recycled anyway when you put it in a recycling bin? How many of you are sick of using a paper straw that doesn’t work as well as what you are used to? And yes, how many of you are sick of seeing the disheartening piles of plastic on land or islands of plastic in the ocean killing animals unnecessarily?

The solution to all these questions is compostable plastics. These are not the recyclable plastics you have known before which overall has been a failure. I will be doing everything in my power through executive actions and working with Congress on what can be a bipartisan solution to mandate that all plastics manufactured in the United States or imported with the exception of certain durable goods or medical uses will be compostable. There will be a new bin for this waste stream as we can’t make all plastic that will biodegrade on its own in a landfill. But we can compost in facilities dedicated for this stream and end up with harmless material that can go back into the ground. And the straws work just the same. And the packaging material works just as well.

We are a resourceful people. We can come up with solutions. But we do need government to make rules when those solutions are modestly more expensive since we can’t depend on companies or private consumers to make the individual decisions to make our world a better place. This is a flaw in a libertarian philosophy which I have no intention of being distracted by.

Let’s solve this problem together. I have other ideas for other problems I will be outlining in the coming months that are equally as exciting.

That wasn’t so hard was it? Any way we can push Biden on this issue?

Think Coca Cola and Nestles on the water side and Big Carbon
on the plastic side. The water is *free and the bottle costs pennies
each.

  • The ‘job’ creators get free water out of the municipal tap subsidized
    by the local taxpayer. Note the RO Processed on a water bottle. This
    is the biggest cost and extremely wasteful. For every one gallon of RO
    water, thirty gallons is rejected off the RO filter. This waste water
    is then returned to the public water system or dumped to a drain.
    Since the water is ‘free’ who cares?

As soon as I saw Biden’s name in this thread I said to myself, "Here comes the shit on Biden comments. Must be a mind reader.

I recall back in the 70’s when Michigan had a deposit on glass bottles when glass was the throw away problem. I was so impressed that something was being done.

2 Likes

Yes ReconFire, if the trees were that big of a problem Amazon and all other shippers would have no cardboard boxes. And there are a few of those around.

Make plastics users only use recycled plastic for bottles and such.
Maybe the best long term way of reclaiming the throwaways.

1 Like

I remember that too, a form of currency when I was a kid. I guess if you recycle glass as we do in CA it still has some value, less than plastic or aluminum though. We also have milk in bottles, the deposit is $2.50 for large bottles and $1.50 for small. You return them to the store.

Remember too when milk was delivered to your door, we were usually not home so the milkman would just go in and put it in the refrigerator.

2 Likes

We have moved on haven’t we. Just a look back at how we took our purchases home. In a tin can, a wooden crate, or a cloth sack.

1 Like