How Are You Cutting Down on Plastic Waste?

Is your house filled with plastic bags? Tell us how you’re reducing your carbon footprint.

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The United States—and the world—is facing a plastics crisis. Experts predict that if we continue using plastics at the current rate without proper disposal, there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050. 

The problem has only gotten worse after China stopped accepting contaminated recycling last year. The United States used to export about 40 percent of its recycled plastics, paper, and other waste to China, and has since struggled to comply with China’s new measures. Some US recycling centers have scaled back their programs, while others have resorted to burning their trash. China’s new policy has had widespread effects, as the rejected trash now floods into Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

States across the US have recently tried to reduce plastic waste by banning or limiting plastic bags and straws, or charging a fee for bags. Supermarket chains such as Trader Joe’s and Kroger have also pledged to cut down on plastic, while some smaller grocery stores have gone entirely zero-waste. And consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of their environmental footprint and choices, as sustainable and “green” products gain greater popularity. 

While there’s a lot of advice about how to reduce plastic waste, we want to hear how you’re doing it. What’s the biggest change you’ve made in your life to cut back on plastics? What motivated you to start? Let us know in the form below, or send us an email at talk@motherjones.com. You can also leave us a voicemail at (510) 519-MOJO. We may use some of your responses in a follow-up story.

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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