We are not slow to celebrate our new enthusiasm for change. Votes to legalise marriage equality and abortion are the major milestones in that journey, but before those Everests were conquered, two modest advances suggested the wind was changing.
The levy on plastic bags and the ban on smoking in public spaces were revolutionary. They showed an assertiveness that may have waned. We have dined out on those enough-is-enough measures for so long that, despite their great value, it takes on the character of fading virtue signalling. It seems time to take another step to confront our weaker instincts so a greater cause might be served.
San Francisco airport may have shown the way.
Two years ago, it was estimated that 1m plastic bottles were bought every minute, and it was predicted that figure would rise by 20% by 2021. In an effort to end that insanity, San Francisco airport has announced a ban on the sale of plastic water bottles. The ban comes into force this month and, presumably, a complete plastic bottle ban will follow.
As we are aware of the plastic plague and its impact, maybe it seems time to follow San Francisco’s lead. Let’s ban, as a first step, all plastic water bottle sales in airports, train stations, bus stations, educational institutions, and any place of work. We will have to sooner or later so why not now, while such a measure might still make a contribution to cutting utterly unsustainable plastic pollution?