De-Plasticizing the Planet: The Fight is On
BAN OR TAX OR WHAT?
Measures to phase out single use plastic bags
In order to limit the amount of single use plastic bags some countries are opting for bans, taxation or different forms of voluntary agreements.
Banning plastic bags is most effective in cases when they pose an imminent and clear threat, however, bans depend on strong law enforcement capacity. Examples of countries that have banned are Italy, Rwanda or Bangladesh.
To learn more about the political and legal situation in the EU, discover the Ban the Bag initiative by Surfrider Foundation!
On average, plastic bags are used for 25 minutes!
It takes between 100-500 years for a plastic bag to disintegrate
(depending on the type of plastic)
1 million plastic bags are in use around the world/ 1 minute
The average European uses about 500 plastic bags/year
Europeans overwhelmingly support a ban on single-use plastic bags.
80% of marine litter is plastic
3.4 million tones of plastic carrier bags are produced in the EU each year. This corresponds to the weight of more than two million cars!
EU plans major crack down on plastic! 😱👏😁http://www.euronews.com/2018/01/17/e-u-plans-major-crack-down-on-europe-s-plastics-pollution In just over a decade, every single piece of packaging used across Europe could be reusable or recyclable. That’s the new plan set out byPlanet Ark
Vanuatu bans plastic bags and polystyrene containers
Author: Laura Chalk, Planet Ark
The Vanuatu government is the first country in the Pacific to establish a National Oceans Policy, with the aim of better managing the ocean and resources for present and future generations.
Come February, it will go one step further, banning the importation of non-biodegradable plastic bags & polystyrene take away containers, with its sights set on eventually becoming completely plastic free.
This announcement comes after around 2,000 people signed a petition supporting legislation to ban single use plastic bags on the Islands.
The ban will be a part of the country’s wider ocean policy, says Toney Tevi, head of Maritime and Ocean Affairs within Vanuatu’s Foreign Ministry.
This holistic approach to ocean protection is one other countries can follow, as plastic becomes one of the biggest scourges on aquatic life.
“We all agreed after national consultation that Vanuatu’s ocean has to be clean for generations to come, and to keep the ocean clean of plastic was one of the major concerns,” Mr Tevi explained in an interview with ABC News.
Mr Tevi’s words indicate a foresight much needed as the world grapples with our plastic addiction and the marine litter that ensues. Another person looking at the present and future state of plastic waste is Christina Shaw, the CEO and founder of the Vanuatu Environmental Science Society.
Ms Shaw has been overseeing a clean-up in Port Vila over the past three years to reveal how much plastic waste has accumulated in the country’s capital. She says that while everyone acknowledges there’s a little bit, “you don’t realise how much until you count it and say ‘look, these are thousands of plastic bags that we picked up over this week’.”
A challenge for the near future, Ms Shaw says, is making it economically viable to recycle plastic products, which currently isn’t the case in the remote pacific nation.
“Some plastic bottles are recyclable but currently the cost of shipping them out to somewhere that will buy them is too expensive.”
Polystyrene containers will be included in the ban; which Ms Shaw is happy about. Of the 1000 takeaway containers collected last year, 641 we made of polystyrene foam.
Ralph Regenvanu, the Minister in Charge of Foreign Affairs, said the Government will aim to ban other plastic products too, including plastic cutlery and straws.
Another move would be to consider new ways to dispose of plastic bottles, Mr Regenvanu said, which would require suppliers to buy them back after use.
Vanuatu is proving to be a leader in environmental protection, not only in the pacific but the greater world. The small island nation has already committed to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals 2015 – 2030 which is to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.”
For most of the world, the use and disposal of used plastics remains a significant problem. As we noted in the CACOR site