Written by PGS National Youth Council Secretary, Sarah

Up until last year, almost half of the United States’ recycled plastic was being shipped to China for processing. This was until China instituted their Plastic Ban, deciding they no longer wanted to be the world’s dumping ground for used plastics. According to researchers at the University of Georgia, in the next dozen years an estimated 111 million metric tons of plastic waste will be produced worldwide. Since 1992 China has been accepting 45% of this waste, and with this ban countries will now have to find something else to do with these plastics. If a cost-effective method for handling these plastics can’t be found, they will likely be sent to a landfill. Various companies are looking into mixing plastic pellets with asphalt and using them in roads, bike paths, and sidewalks. But for now much of the plastic is being bought by other countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, which are all in the top 10 for the amount of plastics polluting the ocean. China’s Plastic Ban should serve as a reminder that the best option is always to reduce the amount of plastic we use on a daily basis. Always use a reusable water bottle instead of continuing to buy plastic ones. And it is easier than you think to bring your own reusable cup when getting drinks like coffee or boba tea, and you can even bring your own container when ordering takeout food! Click here for more tips on how to reduce your plastic consumption. Remember, making your own lifestyle more sustainable is the first step to making the world a better place!