January 2019 - Environmental Highlights
For many, 2018 brought a stark reality of the damage plastic is causing to our environment, wildlife and human health.
2019 has prompted action from businesses, organisations and individuals in taking action against plastic.
Here's our round up of the top 10 environmental highlights for January.
1. New York City ban on single-use styrofoam products takes effect
From 1st January 2019 restaurants, stores and manufacturers in New York City are no longer allowed to use styrofoam to package food or fill packaging.
This is welcome news as styrofoam takeaway containers are not recyclable. In addition to this styrofoam is non-biodegradable and appears to last forever.
2. Irish government is to ban single-use plastics from its government departments and public bodies
The Irish government will stop using single-use plastic cups, cutlery and straws. The UK Parliament also recently made the switch to our Vegware compostables as an alternative to single-use plastic.
3. South Australia considers ban on all single-use plastic products
The government in South Australia is considering a ban on single use plastics such as straws, cutlery, shopping bags and coffee cups.
4. Schools urged to eliminate single-use plastics by 2022
The education secretary has urged headteachers to consider using sustainable alternatives instead of non-recyclable plastic for items such as straws, bottles, bags and food packaging.
5. Fury over Poundland's "gift of nothing'
Poundland sparked huge controversy over a Valentines heart shaped packaging with nothing in it. Campaign groups widely criticised the "gift" and Sian Sutherland of A Plastic Planet said "This product is designed to go straight in the bin, but it will last for 500 years. It is a symbol of everything that is wrong with our view of the world".
6. Davos 2019: David Attenborough issues stark warning about the future of civilisation
Sir David Attenborough warned business figures gathered in Davos "What we do now...will profoundly affect the next few thousand years". Sir David Attenborough also commented that the worlds of business and politics should "get on with the practice solutions" needed to prevent environmental damage.
7. Plastic carrier bag fee to double to 10p
The fee for plastic carrier bags in England is to be doubled to 10p and extended to all shops. The change is aimed at further reducing the plastic used by consumers and could come into effect in January 2020.
8. Industry alliance sets $1bn to tackle ocean's plastic waste
A global "Alliance to End Plastic Waste" has been set up and has committed $1bn to be invested in a wide variety of projects to develop new recycling technologies, build infrastructure to collect and recycle waste, as well as clean areas where plastic waste concentrates.
9. Morrisons to trial paper bags for groceries
Morrisons is to trial large paper bags for groceries at its supermarket checkouts. The news did however come under fire when it was highlighted that the paper bags would come at a higher charge of 20p, whereas its plastic bags are to be charged at 15p.
10. M&S brings back traditional greengrocers to ditch plastic packaging
M&S are launching a trial at their Tolworth store where shoppers can choose from two aisles of fresh produce including hard fruit and vegetables. More perishable items such as soft fruits and berries will be sold in compostable punnets.
Greengrocers will offer to help customers to pick and weigh their products as the "best before" labels have also been removed as part of the trial.