The Overuse of Plastics in Israel


Plastic is a huge problem in Israel. It is used for everything. For example, it is very hard to get water at a restaurant without it coming in a plastic bottle. You are given a plastic bag whenever you buy anything, even a jar of spices! Even if you refuse the bag, the store clerk will ignore the request and shove the plastic bag into your hands. You can see clearly this issue of excessive plastic usage when walking around the downtown streets of Jerusalem; there is plastic littering covering every street corner and open space. Jerusalem is a very beautiful city, but the overwhelming amount of litter negatively affects my perception of the place. I find this particularly disappointing for a city that values religion and where religious texts talk about the importance of environmental stewardship.

What community need did I learn about?:

Israel desperately needs a reliable recycling system. Plastic litters every street corner and is part of every purchase, even when buying fresh groceries. There are some collection systems for plastic bottles, but they do not exist everywhere. They are placed every few blocks rather than at every house, like in California. There are no other consistent collection systems for plastics, like plastic bags. There are not even reliable collection systems for glass bottles or aluminum cans!