Hats off to Arizona.
The US state has just taken a huge step back for recycling, by banning the right to force recycling and regulate the use of plastic bags. So essentially, the Governor, Doug Ducey, has made it illegal for any community, city, town or county to apply legislation similar to that of California.
Currently in California, shops must charge a nickel (5 cents/ 3p in sterling) any time a customer wants a new plastic bag. Seems fair right? The money often goes towards environmental programmes and opportunities, so what’s the problem? Now, the cost is being placed on the environment, rather than the consumers.
The governor did not provide a reason for his decision, which has angered the local community. Many people are now accepting that we are facing global environmental issues and would like to contribute, no matter how small. However, the US continues to ignore an almost globally accepted view of climate change, with many of their leaders and political figures among those who deny that it exists (see below).
One resident commented, saying ‘Regarding the plastic bags, I use them at my business, but I admit, they’re nasty things… I wouldn’t have a problem with banning them locally, I’d find some other way to pack up my to-go orders’. This was replied to by another resident, stating ‘If the Flagstaff business community were to show support for bag alternatives, that would go a long way’. Flagstaff is a city of about 135,000 people in Northern Arizona. It is also reported that state legislation means that the Governor does not need to explain his changes to local recycling.
If you wanted to know a bit more about Ducey, we can tell you this much. He was only elected this year, and is one of several high-ranking American politicians who denies that climate change is related to human activity. He literally said this -"I think that there is climate change, what I am skeptical about is what human activity has to do with it."
Arizona is getting hotter at a faster rate than 90% of states, has some of the lowest air quality and highest asthma rates, has lost 20% of its forests to fires in the last 5 years and regularly suffers droughts and flooding.
Oh Doug. We can say no more.