Our country, along with China and Europe, is one of the biggest producers of plastic waste in the world. Not only plastic shopping bags, but excessive packaging harms our environment, fills our landfills and harms wildlife, particularly when it gets into the ocean.
Most of this plastic, containing mixtures of materials that lack durability or cannot be separated, cannot be recycled nor reused. Many of these pollutants, which have been found to be chemically harmful because they are either potentially toxic or absorb other pollutants, are classified as solid waste and are treated in the same way as food scraps or grass clippings.
It is imperative for the health of our planet that countries come to an agreement to classify these materials as hazardous because of the damage they do when they decompose, and the United States should lead the way. Any manufacturer of plastic, including the food and drug industries, which produce such an incredible amount of waste in their packaging, should have to prove their packaging is safe too.