July has become a very busy month in our battle against uncontrolled, single-use, throw-away plastics. On July 3rd we are honoring the importance of International Plastic Bag Free Day during which we are spreading the word “that a plastic bag free world is possible and that sound environmental alternatives to single use plastic bags are available.” Find out more about what is happening around the world on this important day. And what if we had an entire Plastic Free July?.
Plastic Free July
Going a big step further we are celebrating the entire month as Plastic Free July. Join with millions of people in 159 countries in the “choose to refuse” challenge with the aim of raising awareness of the problems of single-use plastic and pointing to solutions.
Did you know that “More than 6 out of 10 of us are already refusing plastic shopping bags, avoiding pre-packed fruit and veg, picking up other people’s litter and avoiding buying bottled water.”
European Union Takes Steps to Reduce Single-Use Plastic Waste
All of this comes about as the European Community has taken its first steps to collectively reduce single-use plastics in Europe.
“Following the public outcry these new laws are addressing the call of citizens. These positives steps will cut pollution and at the same time create job opportunities.” Said Martin Galea De Giovanni, director at Friends of the Earth Malta. Its great to hear that public outcry is being heard by receptive ears, find the entire article here.
New EU laws encompass a variety of proposals including:
- A ban on single-use plastic straws, cutlery and plates.
- A requirement to significantly reduce the use of plastic food containers and cups.
- Through labeling to inform the public of the negative effects of sanitary towels, wet wipes and balloons.
- To introduce Extend Producer Responsibility protocols on a range of products from plastic beverage and food containers to plastic bags, cigarette butts and discarded fishing gear.
In some ways the EU proposal falls short of expectations and also short of what individual European countries and other countries worldwide, are already initiating. However, it is a start and it’s hoped that aspects like execution times, etc. will be shortened. We will continue checking and reporting back to you.
Consider the possibilities if we extended Plastic Free July into Plastic Free 2018?
By Robert Frerck, Blue Ocean Network
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