Plastic pollution has become a global crisis, with staggering amounts of plastic waste finding its way into our environment. Every year, over 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced, and less than 10% of it is recycled. This results in an estimated 19-23 million tonnes of plastic ending up in our lakes, rivers, and seas annually.
Furthermore, microplastics, tiny particles measuring up to 5mm in diameter, have infiltrated our food, water, and air, with each person consuming more than 50,000 plastic particles per year.
The impacts of plastic pollution on human health, biodiversity, and ecosystems are alarming, making it crucial for governments, companies, and individuals to take action and address this crisis.
On this World Environment Day, 5th June 2023, let's explore the solutions available to tackle plastic pollution.
1. Reduce single-use plastics
One of the most effective ways to combat plastic pollution is to reduce our consumption of single-use plastics. By opting for reusable alternatives such as cloth bags, stainless steel water bottles, and food containers, we can significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste generated. Remember, small changes in our daily habits can make a big difference.
ethy verifies brands that offer plastic free products, check them out below:
2. Recycle as much as you can (and correctly)
Proper waste management and recycling play a vital role in minimising plastic pollution. Separate your recyclables and ensure they are correctly disposed of in designated recycling bins. Support local recycling programs and initiatives that promote the responsible handling of plastic waste. Encourage businesses and governments to invest in efficient recycling infrastructure and processes.
See more in our guide: Recycling: We are getting it wrong! Here’s what you need to know.
The packaging sector is the world’s largest generator of single-use plastic waste. Approximately 36 % of all plastic produced is for packaging. This includes single-use for food and beverage containers, 85 % of which ends up in landfill or as hazardous waste.
To explore brands that provide verified recycled and recyclable packaging as well as compostable ranges, check them out here:
3. Support plastic-free initiatives
Many innovative solutions and initiatives have emerged to address plastic pollution. Support businesses that are committed to producing sustainable products. Choose products with minimal packaging and look for alternatives to plastic whenever possible. By supporting plastic-free initiatives, we can drive positive change and encourage others to follow suit.
ethy verifies brands that Fight Plastic Waste, offer Refillable Products and Upcycled Products as well as circular models to keep resources in use over and over again to reduce the amount of resources and plastic used in total, check them out below:
4. Raise awareness and educate others
Spread the word about plastic pollution and its impact on our environment. Engage in conversations with friends, family, and colleagues to raise awareness about the importance of reducing plastic waste. Participate in local community events, workshops, or clean-up drives focused on tackling plastic pollution. Education is key in inspiring others to take action.
Check out this post on IG here.
Join the #BeatPlasticPollution movement by visiting the official website of World Environment Day 2023. There, you'll find valuable information, actionable steps to make a difference, and plenty of materials to promote the movement on social media. Remember, every effort, no matter how small, counts.
5. Advocate for policy changes
Urge policymakers to implement stricter regulations on plastic production and usage. Support policies that promote the use of sustainable materials and packaging. By advocating for change at a systemic level, we can create a more sustainable future for generations to come.
Plastic pollution poses a significant threat to our planet and all living beings. The alarming statistics and consequences demand immediate action from individuals, businesses, and governments worldwide. On this World Environment Day, let's unite in our commitment to reduce plastic waste, support recycling efforts, and advocate for sustainable practices. Together, we can make a difference and protect our environment for future generations. Remember, every small action counts in the fight against plastic pollution.
United Nations: https://www.un.org/en/observances/environment-day
World Environment Day: https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/
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