February 2019 - Environmental Highlights
February can often be an uncertain time of year. The short month brings March sooner than we expected and here in the UK it's no longer winter, but it isn't quite spring.
Throughout February environmental headlines have brought great leaps forward in terms of planning to take action against plastic for the future. In addition to this, we learned of a number of shocking reports of countries burning plastic following China's ban on imports.
Here's our round up of the top 10 environmental highlights for February.
This is expected to see a ban of plastic cutlery, plates, cups, straws, fast-food containers, cotton bud sticks and micro beads by 2021.
Plastic straws and bags have already been curbed in California. New legislation will phase out single-use plastic packaging that isn't recyclable or compostable.
Volunteers who fished thousands of pieces of litter from the river reported that 78% of litter in the Thames was single-use plastic.
Key findings conclude that from extraction of raw materials right through to processing and disposal, plastic has been linked to detrimental effect on human health. It has been linked with health problems including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis.
It has been reported that following the ban, around 200 tons of recycling materials are sent every day to an incinerator just outside Philadelphia. Residents fear a rise in pollution and are concerned at the risk of related health problems.
A must watch - following China's ban on imported plastic waste, countries such as the UK, US and Japan started sending plastic waste to Malaysia where illegal recycling factories have been secretly burning plastic.
The new bill would force city agencies to annually evaluate alternatives to single-use plastic items. If the agencies find eco-friendly alternatives for specific items, then the plastic version would be banned.
The store will offer 35 different loose fruit and veg lines as well as 27 lines with plastic-free packaging such as paper bags and compostable punnets.
@McDonaldsUK @McDonalds No walk in the park is complete without your litter which I know will still be around long after I'm compost. Where's your reusable cup initiative & paper straws. How are you reducing your environmental impact? #isthisyours #imnotlovingit #FAIL pic.twitter.com/M6ImpYlcMU— Parisa Wright (@MusingsAndMusic) February 26, 2019
Despite all the evidence that we can't recycle our way out of the plastic crisis, recycling is still pushed as the first priority. There has been a call for companies to accept their responsibility to reduce consumption of single-use plastic.