The global assault on plastic continues from every direction. The latest attack is a plastics treaty being worked on by as many as 175 countries. If the treaty is ever completed and ratified, it would result in national plastic bans and punitive actions against manufacturers who utilize plastics deemed bad by treaty language.
A global plastic treaty is a bad idea. Treaties have historically been drawn up by individuals whose long-term vision is limited, at best. We know from history that treaty consequences are not always good. And of course, treaties are broken all the time. Some are not even worth the paper they are printed on.
Keep the UN Out of Plastics
The treaty in question is the brainchild of the United Nations (UN). That alone should be a red flag. Whenever the UN proposes a legally binding treaty that they expect most nations in the world to sign on to, what they are really doing is consolidating power and control to themselves. A UN-sponsored treaty is enforced by the UN, making it the de facto authority on the topic at hand.
The UN has no business determining how plastic is used in countries around the world. There is such a thing as national sovereignty, and it takes precedent over the goals of a limited number of bureaucrats who run the UN. The truth is that nothing good will come of this treaty.
Plastic Bans Will Do Little
A centerpiece of the treaty is a unilateral ban against nearly all single-use plastics. Say goodbye to plastic food containers, foam coffee cups, plastic utensils, plastic retail packaging, and on and on. The thing is that the ban will do very little to reduce the total amount of plastic produced globally. If you doubt that, look around your own home. Create a running list of every item you find with plastic in it. You might need months to compile an accurate list.
Plastic bans do little more than provide fodder for politicians and bureaucrats who want to claim they are doing something productive. Likewise for actions taken to ostensibly hold corporations accountable for their plastic use. By the way, corporate accountability is another major theme of the UN treaty.
Corporations Alone Are Not Responsible
The idea behind holding corporations accountable is to force them to foot the financial bill for managing the plastic waste stream. As cynical as it sounds, corporate accountability is a way to raise money more than anything else. Blaming corporations for plastic waste is also a way to turn public sentiment against them, forcing them to either cough up or risk being seen by their customers as greedy polluters.
To the extent that corporations contribute to plastic pollution, they should also help address the problem. But they alone are not responsible. In fact, we consumers are just as guilty. We are the ones who throw plastic trash on the ground. We are the ones that help it find its way into waterways.
It is entirely possible to manage plastic waste in a responsible and profitable way. Need proof? Check out Seraphim Plastics in Tennessee. They are just one of several companies around the country that prove the viability of plastic recycling every day. If they can do it with industrial scrap plastic, why can’t it be done across the board?
The UN wants global control of the plastics industry. They intend and get it through a treaty disguised to look like a genuine effort to end plastic pollution. It is just the latest assault on plastic and the industry behind it.