March 2019 - Environmental Highlights
The harmful effects of plastic to both the environment and human health continue to be highlighted in the media. March has brought leaps forward in terms of legislation to reduce plastic waste.
Here's our round up of the top 10 environmental highlights for March.
The European Parliament has voted to ban single-use plastic, cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers. It is expected to come into force by 2021. The directive will be targeting the most common plastic beach litter as well as banning single-use plastic cups.
San Francisco has become the first city to ban the sale of plastic water bottles. Negative health impacts as well as plastic pollution were cited among the reasons for the ban.
One year after China's ban on imported plastic waste, India has implemented a similar ban.
The UK government has revealed plans to overhaul the waste system to cut plastic pollution and move towards a circular economy. Plans include;
- To have plastic packaging producers pay the full cost of dealing with their waste.
- From April 2022, launch a tax on plastic packaging which doesn't meet a minimum requirement of at least 30% recycled content - subject to consultation.
- Majorly overhaul Britains waste system.
In a study conducted by Friends of the Earth, it was revealed that every river, lake, loch and reservoir surveyed tested positive for Microplastics.
A whale was found in the Philippines with what D'Bone Collector museum staff described as "the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale". Over 40kg of plastic including shopping bags and rice sacks was found inside the whale.
Environmental researchers are increasingly concerned about the impact of widespread plastic pollution on wildlife and the environment.
Florida has put forward a bill that would place a five year suspension on the banning of plastic straws. The bill, which is currently under consideration has unsurprisingly angered many environmentalists.
Representatives from Friends of the Earth recently travelled to Indonesia to research plastic pollution. The trip revealed that lorries leaving the paper recycling factories were carrying plastic which is dumped in the streets. The full article reveals how and why this is happening.
Sir David Attenborough has praised a primary school in Cornwall who made their own red noses, made of more sustainable materials. Despite making their own noses, pupils donated the cost of a plastic nose to the charity.
Campaigners are calling for a ban on glitter as it contains damaging Microplastics which often end up in the stomachs of fish and birds. Some major supermarkets are already moving to ban harmful Microplastics, but it's been urged that they move faster to tackle plastic waste.