The whole world should get together and BAN all plastics forever from this day forward.
Not realistic and would have a detrimental effect on most of the lives of everyone in the world. Medical devices; plastics used in autos/airplanes to save fuel; plastics used to just about everything in manufacturing; ect. ect. ect. Plastics play a very positive role in the modern world, they save lives, they are convenient and there are not a lot of alternatives.
Unfortunately plastics have a big down side when misused. The solution would be a type of plastic that is bio-degradable for customer type products at least or some other chemical break through which would allow a plastics type product at a similar cost with a limited life.
The problems with plastics are magnified on San Pedro because the wind and currents blow other countries trash to our shore. Many of my guests commented on the problem this last winter. When Tammy organized the clean up on the North end I enthusiastically joined the effort and immediately got some help donated which I supervised. After the clean up every morning when I took my long walk on the beach with my dog I took a small bag with me and every day I found plastic that was not local which was washed up on the beach. It was disheartening because I realize that most of this trash ended up at the bottom of the ocean and just a very small amount washed over the reef. Yes, I found a few items that were discarded by some on the Island but very few. I decided that setting a good example would maybe sway some to change their behavior.
Recycling plastics has a very limited role for many reasons in ridding us of the undesirable litter in the ocean and on land especially in small countries. Burning trash to produce electricity or process steam seems like a positive to me because I know you can control the emissions and because it actually reduces the need for other fossil fuels. It is one method of disposal which is cost effective. Everything in life has its pluses and minuses and this subject has plently on each side of the ledger.