How Are You Cutting Down on Plastic Waste?

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

Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/Getty Images

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.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.