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.
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.
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.
The government in South Australia is considering a ban on single use plastics such as straws, cutlery, shopping bags and coffee cups.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.