On December 2, 2020, a ship carrying plastic waste from abroad was being unloaded when 5,000 pounds were lost to Maine’s Penobscot Bay. The spill sparked outrage and left many people asking the same question: Why is the U.S., which generates the most plastic waste globally, importing even more plastic waste?
The plastic industry has been trying to take advantage of the pandemic to maximize profits. But fueling fear during a public health crisis is outrageous and must be called out. To truly protect public health and the environment long-term, we need full-scale reuse systems.
San Francisco beat Portland, Maine, to the punch. So did China, Delhi, India, and at least 120 municipalities and counties around the United States. But after a lengthy two years of democracy at work, a four-hour meeting on June 16 led to the Portland City Council voting 6-3 to approve a fee on plastic and…