Earth Day: an end to plastic pollution?
One day, over forty years ago 20 million people marched on American streets as a protest. People were irritated by the world’s indifference to the environment. The response was clear, the American government created a whole new government agency tasked with caring for the environment and Congress passed landmark legislation to protect the environment. This day sits firmly in history, as the environment’s first major victory. Now every year on the 22nd of April, over 1 billion people in countries across the world take to the streets to campaign for environmental awareness.
This year, the day was dominated by one major issue. Plastic pollution is the environment’s most consuming challenge. It stems from our endemic use of single-use plastics especially for packaging and consuming food. No one can question the usefulness of plastic, yet whilst a friend to consumers, is devastating to the environment. With only 9% of plastics being recycled ,the rest has to go somewhere. That somewhere is typically landfill sites and the ocean. As we run out of landfill space, the ocean is now the home to redundant plastic.
At least 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year, harming sea creatures whose bodies come into contact and consume plastics. The rise of plastic pollution is so systemic that by 2050, you shouldn’t be surprised to see more plastic in the ocean than actual fish.
Earth day is taking a stand with its campaign: ‘End Plastic Pollution’, with its aim to cut single-use plastics and find alternatives that are non-threatening to the environment. Whilst Earth day was yesterday, the passionate cause of the campaign is raging on. Read through our previous blogs to find small steps you can take to living a life with less plastic.
Don’t think of reducing plastic use as an irritating or gargantuan task – it is so easy to do and will help leave a clean environment for your kids, grandkids and even great grandkids.|