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Change in legislation is happening

A considerable part of the plastic problem can be clearly seen in the approach that most solutions are focused on: the terms of what consumers can do.

In other words, telling the consumers to recycle a plastic bottle, or to drink from a reusable water bottle, or to stop eating from the styrofoam takeout containers delivered in a good proportion of restaurants.

Nevertheless, what we all see (and feel) is what Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico accurately pointed out: “The plastics pollution crisis has reached a tipping point and the American people are fed up”.

It is under that thought that Mr. Udall and Representative Alan Lowenthal from California recently introduced a bill, which is one of the most aggressive attempts to hold the plastics industry, beverage makers and some other companies financially responsible for dealing with the waste they actually create.

This bill set a precedent move towards calling for a pause on creating new plastic producing plants. These plants have been booming from the oil and gas industry, and have served as job generators in different states throughout the United States, and within several countries.

The problem with this economic source? It created a broader, systemic problem that is more expensive in the mid and long term, basically because regardless of the plastics industry encouraging their consumers to recycle empty containers - sometimes by sponsoring marketing campaigns and school competitions -, in reality, the vast majority of used plastic has been ending up landfills, incinerators or shipped to other nations, where its fate is far from clear, particularly when speaking about developing countries such as México.

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