Banning disposable plastics – not a simple solution

Professor Kate Sang, Professor of Gender and Employment Studies and Disability in SoSS’ Business Management Department, was recently recruited to the Scottish Government expert panel on single use plastics. in this blog, she argues that “ban plastic straws” is a simplistic and potentially ineffectual tool in the fight against ocean pollution, which may harm and disadvantage disabled people.

Following the broadcast of Blue Planet 2, there has been an increasing interest amongst the general public on how to reduce ocean plastics. Images of a turtle with a plastic straw stuck in his or her nostril, a seahorse carrying a cotton bud and marine mammals caught in fishing nets have understandably upset viewers. We can see increased efforts on behalf of communities to clear up their beaches, and charities such as Surfers against Sewage have seen increased interest in their work. Emma Shepherd reported in The Guardian that school children have been so moved by images of marine life in distress that they are putting pressure on their parents to change their use single use plastics.

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