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States propose legislation to fight plastics pollution

Posted: 12:53 PM, Mar 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-25 12:53:08-04

NEW JERSEY — States across the country are looking at ways to cut down on the use of plastics.

New Jersey lawmakers are proposing a ban on plastic bags, straws, and Styrofoam food containers and cups.

New legislation out of Hawaii takes the proposal even further, by calling for a ban on almost all plastics from restaurants, including: drink bottles, utensils, straws, stirring sticks, and garbage bags.

Advocates of the legislation reference a 2018 report from the United Nations that shows if current plastics pollution trends continue, the world's oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050.

More than 90% of the plastic pollution comes from Asia and Africa.

Several cities like Boston and Chicago already have bans on single-use plastic bags. California and Hawaii are looking to make the bans statewide.

The plastics industry says the laws are too extreme. They are advocating for more recycling education and litter enforcement.

However, people aren't able to recycle plastic bags in curbside garbage bins, because they clog recycling machines. They have to drop their bags off at local stores to be recycled properly, but most people do not do that.