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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mexico City approved a ban against businesses selling or giving customers single-use plastics from January 2021.
Maine became the first state to ban polystyrene food containers. The law will come into effect on 1st January 2021.
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.
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.