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 BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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