Plastics are not biodegradable. They release toxic fumes into the air when burnt, and the residual ash pollutes the environment. When mixed with wet waste in landfills, they release gases such as ammonia and greenhouse gases like methane, which are toxic and foul smelling.
According to EcoWatch, Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year. The amount of plastic thrown away each year is more than enough to encircle the earth four times. The last ten years have witnessed more plastic waste than the previous century.
While countries like Rwanda, Eritrea, Kenya, Mauritania, Tanzania, China, Taiwan and Macedonia have complete bans on plastic, there have been serious speculations over whether a ban on plastic in a burgeoning city will work.
With an ordinance to ban the sale of plastic water bottles on city-owned property, San Francisco has taken the step forward to silence all such speculations. By 2020, the city aims to have no waste going to its landfill.
“We all know with climate change, and the importance of combating climate change, San Francisco has been leading the way to fight for our environment. That’s why I ask you to support this ordinance to reduce and discourage single-use, single-serving plastic water bottles in San Francisco,” David Chiu, the author and supervisor of the ordinance told SFGate.