Ready to change their ways, most Israelis back single-use plastic tableware ban
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Ready to change their ways, most Israelis back single-use plastic tableware ban

35% feel climate change should be the most pressing issue for the government, according to poll

View of plastic bottles and other trash in the Beit Zait water reservoir near Jerusalem on March 1, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
View of plastic bottles and other trash in the Beit Zait water reservoir near Jerusalem on March 1, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Israel is the second biggest per-capita consumer of single-use plastic in the world, with many of its beaches and national parks bearing the littered remains of family barbecues and teenage outings. But according to a new survey, Israelis are eager to change their ways, with most in favor of a state ban on disposable tableware.

The survey by the Israel Democracy Institute of 602 respondents found that 58 percent of Israelis back legislation to ban single-use plastic items.

Just over one-third (35%) said climate change should be the top priority for the government, with those between 18 and 24 most likely to support that view (45%), and those between 55 and 64 the least likely to back it (18%).

The survey, conducted by phone and internet on October 24-29, had a margin of error of 3.7%.

Israeli blogger Gil Drori picked up plastic bag on the Beit Yanai beach on November 23, 2018, during his 9-day journey to raise awareness of the harmful effects of disposable plastic pollution on the Mediterranean Sea. (Meir Vaknin/Flash90)

Last week, the Tel Aviv education authority announced it would phase out single-use plastics in some schools.

Tel Aviv has the third most plastic pollution on its coastline among cities in 22 Mediterranean countries, according to a June report from the World Wildlife Fund for Nature. According to the report, the Tel Aviv region has an average of 21 kilograms (46 pounds) of plastic debris per kilometer of coastline, one of the highest in the Mediterranean after Turkey’s Cilicia region and Spain’s Barcelona.

Plastics that end up in the seas and ocean are an increasingly common problem, killing maritime wildlife, contaminating fish and seafood entering the food chain, and leading to hundreds of millions of dollars of loss in tourism and maritime-related industries.

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