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Dear Decaturish – Georgia must think global, act local in the fight against plastic pollution

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Dear Decaturish – Georgia must think global, act local in the fight against plastic pollution

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Image obtained via DeKalb County Schools.


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Dear Decaturish,

As a marine scientist and Emory graduate student studying international development, I am increasingly concerned about the unequal impact of plastic pollution in “developing” countries.

The plastic industry paints individual consumers as the problem and solution to plastic waste through recycling, cleanups, and consumer choice. However, this distracts us from the truth: our current throw-away system benefits the Global North while blaming the Global South for mismanaged waste.

America sends about one million tons of plastic to countries in the Global South a year, most of which already have trouble managing waste. Plastic then gets dumped into the environment or open landfills which post severe negative health risks.

To stop this exploitation, Georgia should stop plastic at its source by passing local plastic bans such as the ones in Fulton County and Clarkston and urging Congress to support H.R.5845 which would shift the burden to the companies producing plastic.

– CJ O’Brien

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