Not surprisingly, the Burbank City Council has decided to delay the implementation of an ordinance that would ban the use or distribution of single-use plastic straws and utensils made of polystyrene in order get more input from the businesses that are most responsible for the proliferation of items that are one of the main contributors to the degradation of our planet and, subsequently, the health of our people and wildlife.
It is indeed a cowardly and shameful decision by the City Council. Rather than responding to the science, the City Council has surrendered to business interests that place profits above our health and that of our environment.
Many excuses are made in order to justify the value of single-use plastics. One reader said that plastic drinking straws are vital to the well-being of disabled people. There are many alternatives to single-use plastic straws — paper straws, recyclable plastic straws and stainless-steel straws among them. That excuse in favor of single-use plastic straws is bogus.
Plastic waste is now found in every location of the Earth and in the bodies of every living thing and it will never degrade or disappear. No excuses that support single-use plastics are valid. We do not even fully understand the long-term effects of microplastic particles on the viability of future generations of life forms. It is mind-boggling that the City Council does not recognize the urgency of the menace of single-use plastics and continues to refuse to take bold action to address it.
First published in the March 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.