By Julia Strimer
Recycling is no longer enough; Plastic Free July has chosen “Choose to Refuse” as the theme for 2019.
Any person who cares about the planet, both now and for future generations, needs to refuse single-use plastics now. At least try during July—sign up for the month-long challenge here: https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/
The problems of recycling have magnified since China began refusing to take recycled waste in January of 2018. China had been taking 70 percent of the world’s plastic waste up until then, subjecting adults and children to dangerous working conditions.
The issue was spotlighted in Wang Jiuliang’s acclaimed documentary Plastic China, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017. https://www.plasticchina.org/.
The film aroused public anger in China, and may have played a part in forcing Beijing to stop taking recycled materials. This documentary can be viewed on Amazon’s Prime Video.
So at least for the month of July (and maybe longer), choose to refuse bottled water and single-use plastic bags.
The two simple choices of carrying a refillable water bottle and using cloth bags can make a difference.