7 Consumer items being banned around the world to save the planet
Environmental responsibility is here – it’s just not evenly distributed. Governments and councils take great pride in being the first to legislate against products and processes that are enjoyed by the developed world but which are damaging the planet, yet other regions can be slow to follow their lead. Therefore, on the consumer level, the environmentally-aware citizen must take it into their own hands to regulate the impact of day-to-day living. Keeping an eye on the products that forward-thinking authorities are banning is one way to do so.
Microbeads, for example, have been in the press a lot lately, having finally been banned in the USA, but other nations are slow to follow their lead. Those tiny plastic grains that give the ‘scrub’ effect to exfoliators and toothpastes do not simply disappear when washed down the drain – flushed away, they end up poisoning marine life, and possibly working their way back up the food chain to your dinner table. Salt, sugar and sand all make environmentally-friendly alternatives, so double-check that label in the toiletries aisle – or consider making your own scrub at home.
Coffee-pods, water bottles and plastic bags are all items that are either difficult to recycle or slow to biodegrade – and they all have re-useable alternatives. While a handful of authorities have made them illegal or costly to use, in most places they’re still a familiar sight – in each case, convenience is something the consumer will need to voluntarily give up.
Likewise, the humble Styrofoam cup in a nicety that we can live without. In the States, an incredible 25 billion of them are thrown away every year – so it’s a relief that New York, the take-out coffee capital, has finally banned them.
For a look at a few other products being banned on a local level, and some alternatives to try, check out this new infographic – some of the statistics it presents will have you re-considering that shopping list before you even leave the house!