Recently, France became the only country to introduce a law to ban plastic dishware. The law will come into effect in 2020, after which all disposable utensils must be made of biological materials.
Hong Kong imposed a 50-cent levy on plastic shopping bags a few years ago, but it’s not enough to tackle the city’s serious waste problem. I believe we should follow in the footsteps of France and ban all plastic dishes, cups, and utensils.
The world’s oceans are filled with plastic waste which poses a serious danger to marine animals. Also, a large amount of oil is used to produce plastic items. As we all know, the use of fossil fuel is a major source of global warming.
A survey in 2005 showed that some eight billion plastic shopping bags are sent to landfills in Hong Kong every year. Plastic degrades very slowly and can affect lands and waterways. This shows that we don’t care about the environment.
The leaders of our society should lead the way by promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle and telling people why they should not use plastic bags or utensils.
The government should give top priority to eliminating waste. They should implement new laws, including a ban on all plastic materials, to stop this wastage. I hope the government would spare no effort to tackle the problem.
Jasmine Chan, King Ling College
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Jasmine. I hope you enjoyed our feature today on recycling plastic bottles. Plastic is indeed an awful product, and banning plastic dishware would be a good place to start. But what would be an alternative?
Like many things in life, plastic hooked us by being so useful. While a complete ban on plastic may seem like a good idea, even a “no-brainer” it’s not that simple.
Just looking around my desk, this is what I find: A plastic lunchbox that I will use for years. A plastic box to hold my toothpicks (it would be pretty unsanitary to just leave them lying around). A bunch of plastic bowls that hold all sorts of things. The plastic wrap on my Tempos. The plastic bubble sheet that holds a Strepsil and others that hold headache tablets and so on. There’s plastic in my keyboard, and monitor. There are plastic juice bottles holding my lime juice, a plastic container for stationary, plastic fan someone gave me as a gift. My glasses case looks like it’s plastic and I know my pen is plastic.
All of these things are very useful and we don’t seem to have one overall alternative to them.
Perhaps we can start by cutting unnecessary plastic from our lives. If anyone has any ideas on how to avoid using plastic, let us know.