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by The Township of Junitaki-cho. . 22 reads.

Information for Voters: Reducing Microplastics

Reducing Microplastics
Information for Voters

Summary

Microplastics are pieces of plastic less than 5mm in diameter, and they're killing the environment. They exist all throughout different ecosystems, being eaten or absorbed by living creatures, humans included, and persist in seafood many people consume. They're becoming widespread, and while research into long-term impacts is ongoing, it's safe to say there's no positive outcome from the proliferation of these debris. Microplastics occur in two primary ways: deliberate production for goods, and from the breakdown of macroplastic debris. This resolution deals with the former.

Analysis

Reducing Microplastics concerns pieces of plastic <5mm in diameter which cannot fully biodegrade in water. It tasks an existing committee with doing research, data aggregation, and outreach on the subject in section 2. Section 3 bans the production of microplastics except for internal medical use or when they're going to be reconstituted into macroplastics later on. Section 4 sets further mandates on safety precautions for manufacturing and water treatment, tracking microplastic pollution, and educating citizens on ways to reduce their microplastic production, and section 5 is non-binding suggestions for further progress.

On its face, there's not much here to dislike. If you accept that microplastics are an environmental concern - which you should - then this proposal targets the matter in very specific, productive ways, touching on everything from creation to commercial availability to pollution and spills. You could argue that it leans too heavily on the WASP, but I don't think that's a bad thing here. It's not overreaching given the narrow scope of its concerns, and it won't ban any genuinely useful products. The biggest weakness here is that it only targets microplastics which are produced, with none of its strongest mandates concerning the breakdown of macroplastics into microplastics. But this is deliberate on the part of the author, leaving room for future legislation to be tailored to that issue, and this would be a great foundation for that.

Recommendation

In the interest of environmental preservation, the Refugia Councillor of World Assembly Affairs recommends voting for Reducing Microplastics.

RawReport