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Will the US ban the use of single-use plastics like England, India, Hong Kong and other countries?

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Madhavi Venkatesan, associate teaching professor of economics at Northeastern University, is convinced that human convenience is an expense the environment cannot afford.

That is why she founded Sustainable Practices — an environmental action group in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where she lives — and spearheaded the Cape Plastic Bottle Ban initiative, raising awareness of how single-use plastic bottle consumption affects the environment and human health.

“We’re paying for that convenience product through intergenerational time,” she says. “But future generations yet unborn will still be paying for the fact that we consume them today. Plastic does not degrade into natural substances.”

Venkatesan’s group achieved municipal bans on single-use plastic bottles in all 15 towns of Cape Cod. Now, Sustainable Practices is focused on banning all non-carbonated, non-flavored water in single-use plastic bottles under a gallon, as well as single-use plastic cutlery and tableware.

Similar restrictions have been made in other cities and towns throughout the United States. Meanwhile, some countries such as England, India, Chile, Rwanda, Kenya and New Zealand have passed national bans on some single-use plastic products, such as plastic bags or cutlery.

In Hong Kong, a ban on styrofoam products and single-use utensils — plastic plates, spoons, forks, knives and straws — went into effect on April 22, Earth Day. Plastic food containers and cups are still allowed, but those are expected to be added to the ban next year.

Read more at NGN.

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