Looks like Toby Keith might have to skip over Paris on his next tour because France just became the first country to put a ban on disposable plastic cups, plates, and tableware.
This is part of the country’s “Energy Transition for Green Growth Act,” which hopes to tackle waste, promote renewable energy, and make France a leader in environmental solutions.
These plastics are normally made from P.E.T, a mostly petroleum based chemical, where only 1 percent gets recycled.
In 2010, over 8 million tons of plastic waste ended up in the oceans.
If that total waste was just red plastic cups and you stacked them up on top of each other, you would reach the moon and have 170 million cups left over to party with.
Keep in mind, that’s just the waste that gets into the ocean and when the chemicals break down into the water, they don’t leave.
So France's decision to shift from unsustainable plastics to new plant based biodegradable plastics is being celebrated by environmentalists everywhere who hope for a waste free world.
But some would say that the economic need to make petroleum plastics stick around outweighs the ecological need to ban it.
Remember when Los Angeles banned plastic bags?
Well, one study by the National Center for Policy Analysis showed that businesses outside of the ban zones had a sales growth of 9 percent while other stores sales went down 6 percent.
This hints to the idea that the free market doesn’t want single use plastics to go away.
And we can’t forget that the of tens of thousands of people who make the plastics would potentially be out of a job.
But many environmental crusaders are still quick to dismiss the benefits of petroleum based plastics, arguing that a healthy environment and less chemicals in our ecosystem outweigh any economic benefit.
So whether we end up with plastic or no plastic — let’s hope life gets fantastic