Renewed Campaign Against Plastic Pollution

The world is waking up a second time to fight against plastic pollution, while people from all walks of life are doing their best in providing support to the cause.

 

National Geographic Magazine, with worldwide circulation of 6.5 million copies per month (as of September 2018) devoted a Special Cover package to plastic in June 2018. The issue has, since then, receiving unprecedented attention from media, public and world leaders like never before. The magazine editors, however, had decided to publish excerpts from such contributions from time to time.

Peru Restricts Single-use Plastic – Peru, a melting pot of ancient Incan, pre-Incan and Spanish ethnicity, while imbibing contemporary digital mores have restricted single-use plastic in the country with effect from January 17, 2019. Visitors to this culturally rich South American Republic will no longer be allowed to carry single-use plastics into Peru’s “76 natural and cultural and cultural protected areas”, from Machu Picchu (UN Heritage site) to Manu to Huascarán or national Museums. This ban was pronounced as a ‘Supreme Decree’ by Peru’s Environment Minister, Fabiola Muñoz, and signed by President Martín Vizcarra, earlier in November last year.

 In December, Peru's Congress had also passed a law to phase out single-use plastic bags across the country over the next three years. According to Peru's Environment Ministry, the country uses 947,000 tons of plastic each year, while 75 percent is thrown out and only 0.3 percent is recycled.

San Diego Banned Styrofoam Food and Drink Containers with effect from January 11, 2019 -San Diego [California] has joined a growing number of world-class cities to ban containers made of polystyrene, popularly known as Styrofoam—the Dow Chemical trademark name for extruded polystyrene. The ban includes food and drink containers, egg cartons, ice chest coolers, aquatic toys for swimming pools, and mooring buoys and navigation markers. This ocean-side city is the largest in the Golden State to ban polystyrene.

No More Plastic Straw in Washington DC, [effective: January 1, 2019] being mandatory to restaurants and sundry other businesses in the Capital city.

The law follows Seattle's ban earlier in 2018 and aims to reduce the impact of plastic straws as litter. More than 4,000 of the disposed items were found in a recent cleanup of the Anacostia River in D.C. Straws are believed to hurt wildlife as well as marine life and are a big pollution issue.

250 Groups Launch Massive Global Plastic Partnership [Since October 29, 2018] -Two hundred and fifty organizations accountable as 20% of the plastic packaging produced around the world have committed to reducing plastic waste and pollution. While the project has been christened as New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, it comprises diverse group of influencing members, such as H&M, Unilever, PespsiCo, L'Oreal, Nestle, and Coca-Cola.

The Global Commitment also peddles a number of high-profile partnerships, while it is rendered as collaboration (with the United Nations) and is being led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Other partners include the World Wide Fund for Nature, the World Economic Forum, the Consumer Goods Forum, as also 40 academic institutions.

EU Parliament Approved Single-use Plastic Ban [October 26, 2028]

The European Parliament voted 571-53 to approve a measure to slash single-use plastic across the continent. The bill still needs to pass additional procedural measures before it can go into effect, while observers say its ‘chances look good’  and so could begin enforcement as early as 2021.

Referring to the need for protecting the ocean from a surge of plastic pollution, the bill calls for  European ban on plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, straws, drink-stirrers, and balloon sticks, as well as reductions in other types of single-use plastics like food and beverage containers.