This is a global trend against plastic-pollution, as our planet is completely dependent on.
It is no secret that we have a big global problem with plastic pollution. Since 2016 half of the world’s biggest coral reef, The Great Barrier, has died due to the polluting of our oceans and global warming. By the year 2050, we can expect more tons of plastic in our oceans than fish.
Whilst plastic thrown into landfills contaminates the soil and groundwater with harmful chemicals and microorganisms, the effects of marine pollution caused by plastic are immeasurable. Ocean plastic does not only kill, and hurt millions of marine animals, it is contaminating our waters and getting into our bodies.
2018 has luckily been the year where governments, businesses, and individuals finally started to take action. India, the European Union, and New Caledonia are some of the leading examples of taking measures to beat plastic pollution.
India Is Making Big Strides Foward
On the World Environment Day (5th June 2018), the Indian Government decided to ban all single-use plastic by 2022. This ban will stem the flow of plastic from 1.3 billion people and businesses.
This was the first and most ambitious step in a war against plastic pollution. When India announced the big news, they got recognition of former UN environmental chief Erik Solheim;
“By announcing that it will phase out single-use plastics by 2022, India has demonstrated global leadership.”
India is already taking small steps towards its goal and in the start of January 2019, the
Airport Authority announced the ban of single-use plastic items in 129 airports across the country.
A Step in the Right Direction for the EU
Last December, the European Union and the European Parliament finally agreed on details on the single-use plastic-ban. The agreement plans to ban a range of single-use plastic items, in a bid to stop plastic pollution. The ban will take action in 2021, and involve:
- A plastic ban on products where alternatives are readily available and affordable, including plastic cotton swabs, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and sticks for balloons.
- Member States will have to implement measures to reduce the use of plastic food containers and drink cups.
- Producers will be made to help cover the costs of waste management and clean-up.
- Member states will have to collect 90% of single-use plastic drink bottles by 2025.
- Certain products, such as sanitary towels, wet wipes, and balloons, will have to have clear labelling which indicates how they should be disposed of.
- Member states will be required to raise the awareness of consumers about the negative impact of littering as well as the re-use and waste management options available.
Smaller Countries like New Caledonia are Setting the Trend
New Caledonia has decided to ban all single-use plastics gradually until 2020. On December 27, the Congress of New Caledonia voted to get rid of single-use plastic.
The first ban will take place July 1st, 2019 applies single-use plastic bags, reusable plastic bags, and non-bio based bags. This will be followed by a ban on plastic cups, glasses, plates, straws and cotton swabs, two months later on September 1st, 2019. By May 1st, 2020 single-use plastic food containers, used in shops and for delivery won’t be acceptable anymore.
The UN report also reveals that the Galapagos will ban single-use plastics, Sri Lanka will ban styrofoam and China is insisting on biodegradable bags. But we are not only talking about countries and big islands; several areas, cities, and islands have created their own laws and bans against plastic.
We hope all this effort are understood by everybody and more measures are taken.
Check out our plastic regulations map, to figure out more about plastic ban around the world.