A truckload of plastic waste enters our oceans every minute and that’s having a major environmental impact. So, what can you do about it?
Recycling is just a small part of the answer - only 9% of all plastics ever made have been recycled. Now the Plastic Free July campaign is encouraging people to be more aware of their plastic use and to choose to refuse single-use plastics like shopping bags, straws, takeaway containers and coffee cups.
The charitable foundation’s mission is to build a global movement that dramatically reduces plastic use and improves recycling, worldwide.
Here are a couple of plastic stats to give you an idea of the size of the issue. Every bit of plastic ever made still exists and in the first 10 years of this century the world economy produced more plastic than the entire 1900's. And, in one week, the world goes through 10 billion plastic bags while in the USA an average of 2.5 million plastic bottles are used every hour.
Rather than breaking down, those plastics break up and become permanent pollution. Earlier this year an expedition to Antarctica revealed that plastic pollution is now present in one of the remotest parts of the planet. It’s everywhere.
The world is starting to take action. Sixteen countries and cities have already banned single-use plastics. Europe is proposing new laws to tackle single-use plastics and, in New Zealand, a number of supermarkets, hardware stores, and clothing brands have announced they’ll be banning plastic bags. Meanwhile, Greenpeace is calling on our government for a nationwide ban on single-use plastics which was supported by a 65,000-signature petition earlier this year.
That’s an awesome start. You can make a difference by joining the Plastic Free July campaign and choosing to refuse single-use plastics this month. Turn that into a habit and you’ll be helping to create a cleaner world for generations to come.