March 2019 - Environmental Highlights

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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.

1. European Parliament votes to ban single-use plastics

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.

2. San Fransisco become the first city to ban single-use water bottles

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.

3. India bans imports of plastic waste

One year after China's ban on imported plastic waste, India has implemented a similar ban.

4. UK government sets plans to overhaul the waste system and move towards a more circular economy

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.

5. Micro-Plastics found in every British river tested

In a study conducted by Friends of the Earth, it was revealed that every river, lake, loch and reservoir surveyed tested positive for Microplastics.

6. Autopsy photos show toll of plastic waste on whale

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.

7. Florida bill suspends banning of plastic straws

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.

8. Plastic on it's hidden journey to Indonesia

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.

9. School shuns red noses over plastic pollution

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.

10. Supermarkets urged to stop stalling over glitter sales ban

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.

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