May 2019 - Environmental Highlights

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May 2019 - Environmental Highlights

May's environmental headlines boast government action against single-use plastic across the globe.

Here's our round up of the top 10 environmental highlights for May.

1. UK government confirms ban on sale and use of plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers in England

The government has confirmed plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds will be banned from sale and use in England from April 2020.

The ban hopes to reduce the environmental impact of the almost 5bn plastic straws, 300m plastic stirrers and almost 2bn cotton buds used in England each year.

2. Council of the EU announces new rules on 10 single-use plastic products found on European beaches

The new rules will include a ban on selected single-use plastics which already have alternatives on the market such as cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, balloon sticks, cups and food & drink containers made of expanded polystyrene.

3. Malaysia is sending back tonnes of waste back to the UK, US & Australia

On 23rd April 2019 a Malaysian government investigation revealed that waste from the UK, Australia, the US and Germany was coming to the country illegally, falsely declared as other imports.

The Malaysian environment minister declared that the waste would be sent back to the original countries it originated from.

4. Plastic waste found during the deepest ever sub dive

During a record breaking dive to the deepest place in the ocean, harrowing footage showed a plastic bag and sweet wrappers in the deepest depths of the ocean. Plastic pollution has been found from the highest mountain to the deepest ocean. We must act now.

5. 186 countries agree to fight ocean plastic in historic UN framework

In historic UN framework, the vast majority of the world's countries agreed to better manage plastic waste and actively prevent plastic from entering the oceans.

6. Stage at Glastonbury to be made from litter picked from UK streets and beaches

In a collaboration between the Orca Sound Project, Shangri-La and Keep Britain Tidy, volunteers aim to collect 10 tonnes of hard plastic litter to be used to build a stage at Glastonbury. The stage will consist of hard plastic such as plastic bottles, food trays, yoghurt pots and plastic straws.

7. Mexico City bans single-use plastics

Mexico City approved a ban against businesses selling or giving customers single-use plastics from January 2021.

8. Maine becomes the first state to ban Styrofoam containers

Maine became the first state to ban polystyrene food containers. The law will come into effect on 1st January 2021.

9. Tanzania bans tourists from bringing plastic bags into the country

The Tanzanian government announced that travellers will no longer be allowed to bring plastic carrier bags into the country from 1st June 2019. Tanzania is pioneering in terms of cutting plastic waste - the country announced a total ban on plastic bags back in 2016.

10. Florida lawmakers block local governments from enforcing bans on plastic straws

In a controversial move, Florida lawmakers have blocked local governments from enforcing bans on plastic straws. One reason cited for this was that plastic straws make up less than 1% of waste and litter. Research however shows that plastic straws are the 11th most found cause of litter in the ocean and are extremely harmful to marine life.


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