I really appreciated Hannah Scholes’ advice on managing takeout trash (“How to keep your takeout trash from taking over,” The Herald, Feb. 12), especially that her first solution was trying to reduce it. I love supporting local restaurants, but the plastic waste that food carriers and packaging creates often leaves me feeling guilty.
It’s not just my conscience making me feel this way. Plastic manufacturers and the fossil fuel industry have consistently shifted the blame for plastic pollution on to the consumer. They make us believe that we are to blame for using their products and not disposing of them correctly. If we just recycled, we as individuals could fix the problem. That’s not true. Oil and gas companies have lied to us for decades about the viability of plastic recycling, all while protecting their profits and lobbying against plastic reduction policies.
We need to lean into our role as citizens, not consumers, to stop plastic pollution at its source. Supporting bills in our state legislature to address the waste crisis, like HB 1118 and SB 5022, is a good place to start.