Keeping Up with the Canadians

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By Bill Maher 

Canada just announced a plan to join the European Union in banning single-use plastics, or oxo-degradable plastics, which include additives that don't completely biodegrade, but instead fragment into small pieces that remain in the environment. This is a lot of what’s floating around our oceans, and why it’s so hard to remove. Containers and cups made of expanded polystyrene (like styrofoam) will also be banned. This is all going to happen by 2021. Canadians and Europeans are still going to have bags, take out containers, and utensils – they’re just going to be made of stuff that is biodegradable now. 

Why aren’t we doing this? The problem is obvious: there’s around 150 million metric tons of plastic in the world’s oceans. I know, in the era of Trump, these seem like boutique Whole Foods issues – but they’re not. There is no environmental wing of the Republican Party. Nobody else is going to push for this stuff. It’s up to us.

California always leads the way, and is currently advancing a bill that will — wait for it — ban those little plastic shampoo bottles they use in hotels. In 2023. …What? So we’re eliminating plastic straws and the conditioner bottle from the La Quinta Inn. And we’re the progressive state? Oh, we also have pending legislation that would require single-use plastics sold in California to be either reusable, fully recyclable or compostable. But not until 2030. 

What the hell? Why can all of Canada and the European Union take make this happen in two years or less and California can maybe do it by 2030? Can’t we do basic shit anymore?