The non-profit Plastic Free July Foundation behind the worldwide motion Plastic Free July, a month-long problem encouraging people to take small steps to eradicate plastic from their each day lives, has launched its ‘My Plastic Motion Counts’ marketing campaign to remind Australians that their actions depend for extra than simply avoiding waste.
Australians are the largest shoppers of single-use plastic waste on this planet, producing a median of 59kg of plastic waste per individual a yr. Simply 15% of the plastics consumed has been recovered. In line with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 84% of plastic is sent straight to landfill. Plastic could also be polluting the planet, nevertheless it’s additionally polluting our our bodies too, with a research study estimating that every individual ingests about 250 grams of microplastics a yr— a couple of bank card’s weight in plastic each week.
In a 2020 survey, the non-profit found that two-thirds (66%) of contributors discovered it more durable to make modifications to scale back single-use plastic because of COVID-19, with well being measures growing the utilization of single-use plastic for a lot of takeaway objects, in addition to a surge in demand for PPE akin to single-use face masks, gloves and bottles of hand sanitizer.
The sense of urgency to show the tide towards plastic air pollution has by no means been better. “Our waste disposal and recycling efforts are combating a tide of recent plastic waste that’s being created on daily basis,” mentioned Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, founder and government director of Plastic Free July and the Plastic Free Basis.
“If we solely begin to handle plastic waste as soon as it’s within the bin, we’re not going to repair the issue. As a substitute, ‘My Plastic Motion Counts’ celebrates the ability all of us must dwell our values and shield our well being, our communities and the environment via waste avoidance and discount. Each individual will be a part of the answer, and each motion counts in the direction of this shared aim.”
Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, contributors of the 2020 Plastic Free July problem every decreased 21kg of waste and collectively contributed to 900 million kg of plastic waste prevented worldwide. In line with the Plastic Free July Basis, 85% of contributors made modifications which have change into habits past July.
“There are tens of millions of Australians doing the fitting factor by selecting to refuse single-use plastics. Over the past 12 months we’ve seen our contributors staying COVID-19 secure similtaneously nonetheless taking steps to scale back hurt to the surroundings,” mentioned the Plastic Free July founder.
“Now’s the time to hitch in and make a distinction by wanting on the plastics in your life, merely look within the bin, take a look at the litter that’s on the road round you, and choose one or two options akin to selecting reusable material masks or espresso cups, selecting unpackaged produce or switching to a bar of cleaning soap. Collectively our plastic motion counts in the direction of the well being of our planet and other people.”
Whereas the worldwide plastic-free motion focuses on the demand facet of the plastic air pollution equation by encouraging particular person motion, one other non-profit organisation, Break Free From Plastic focuses on the provision facet – the supply of the plastic air pollution. Compiling knowledge on the world’s worst company plastic polluters, the organisation works to make sure that companies are taking accountability for his or her function in flooding the market with plastics and that they aren’t externalising all the prices to society and governments. “Firms should urgently rethink and redesign how they ship merchandise to their clients,” its 2020 brand audit report states. “The present enterprise fashions of FMCG firms are based mostly on advertising and promoting their merchandise in single-use plastic packaging, and conveniently passing the burden of managing their throwaway packaging onto shoppers, taxpayers and native governments.”
Plastic Free July, which started with a Fb group of 40 mates in Australia, has made large strides within the international struggle towards plastic air pollution, with an estimated 326 million contributors from 177 international locations pledging their assist in 2020. Roughly three million Australians participated within the Plastic Free July problem in 2020, with extra anticipated to hitch in on the problem this yr.
Eager to scale back your single-use plastic consumption? Try our submit: Plastic Free July: 10 Ideas for a Month With out Single-Use Plastic.
To study extra concerning the Plastic Free July motion, go to www.plasticfreejuly.org.
Cowl picture by Karolina Grabowska.
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