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A women walks with COVID-19 care kits distributed by Boston's Office of Neighborhood Services in Boston, Massachusetts on May 28, 2020. The pandemic has led to a rise in single-use plastic items, but reusable bags and cloth masks can be two ways to reduce waste. JOSEPH PREZIOSO / AFP via Getty Images

This month is Plastic Free July, the 31 days every year when millions of people pledge to give up single-use plastics.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A food delivery courier packs an order in Bangkok on March 25, 2020, after the government limited restaurants to takeout during the COVID-19 pandemic. MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP / Getty Images

By Tanika Godbole

Southeast Asia is one of the biggest sources of plastic waste from land to the ocean, and Thailand is among the top five contributors. In January, Thailand placed a ban on single-use plastic, and was looking to reduce its plastic waste by 30% this year.

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A man receives a food delivery in plastic bags at his home. Alex Potemkin / Getty Images

By Daiane Scaraboto, Alison M Joubert and Claudia Gonzalez-Arcos

In eight years, US environmentalist and social media star Lauren Singer had never sent an item of rubbish to landfill. But last month, in an impassioned post to her 383,000 Instagram followers, she admitted the reality of COVID-19 has changed that.

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A used latex glove is seen abandoned as trash on a street floor on April 6 in Milan, Italy. Vincenzo Lombardo / Getty Images

By Nikolia Apostolou

Over a month into the lockdown and the usually bustling streets of Kalamata, a Greek city southwest of Athens traditionally known for its olives, are largely empty.

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A customer carries his reusable bag after shopping at a supermarket in New York City. New York State, which implemented its plastic bag ban on March 1, has decided to hold off enforcement until at least May 15. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images

A number of states and cities that implemented bans on plastic bags are putting them on hold over concerns about the cleanliness of reusable bags amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A man carries plastic shopping bags in Times Square on May 5, 2018 in New York City. Kena Betancur / VIEWpress / Corbis / Getty Images

Nearly one year after New York became the second state in the nation to pass a ban on grocery store plastic bags — the law is going into effect on Sunday.

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An employee carries a banner informing customers about the ban on free single-use plastic bags at a shopping mall in downtown Bangkok on Jan. 2, 2020. MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP via Getty Images

Thailand rang in 2020 with an effort to tackle the plastic crisis filling the country's waste sites and choking its waterways. The country's ban on plastic bags at major retailers began as soon as the clock struck midnight in Bangkok. A complete ban of bags that includes smaller shops will go into effect in 2021, as Reuters reported.

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Man lying on plastic infested coast of Villa El Salvador near Lima, Peru in May. Jordan Beltran / Unsplash

The government of India is set to impose a nationwide ban on plastic bags, cups and straws on October 2, officials announced, in its most sweeping measure yet to eradicate single-use plastics from cities and villages that have ranked among the world's most polluted.

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picture-alliance / dpa / J. Woitas

German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze has said she plans to introduce a law to ban the use of plastic bags.

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Shoppers push shopping carts towards a Sainsbury's supermarket on April 29, 2018 in London, England. Chris J Ratcliffe / Getty Images

Charging grocery shoppers a small fee for plastic bags works.

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Beverage behemoths Coca-Cola and Pepsico have taken a stand against a trade association that actively works to restrict plastic bag bans. The two soft drink giants have announced that they will leave the Plastics Industry Association as a response to concerns that their membership in the group contradicted their commitment to reducing plastic waste and packaging, as Newsweek reported.

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Photobos / iStock / Getty Images

Governors in Vermont and Maine signed bills on Monday that will ban plastic bags in their states next year, The Hill reported.

The Maine ban will go into effect next Earth Day, April 22, 2020. The Vermont ban, which extends beyond plastic bags and is the most comprehensive plastics ban so far, will go into effect in July 2020. The wait time is designed to give businesses time to adjust to the ban.

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