Just three months have passed since Blue Planet II and during this time there’s been an incredible effort to cut plastic waste from every part of society.
So who’s doing what?
Every week there seems to be a new pledge by a business giant to cut their plastic waste. Plastic straws,1,2,3,4 plastic bags,5 plastic tea-bags,6 plastic bottles,7,8 general single-use plastic packaging,9,10,11,12 these have all been the central focus of companies of late (see appendix for references).
The UK government has set out its environment strategy which includes a pledge to eradicate all avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042 and an extension of the 5p plastic bag charge to include small shops in England. Many, including Jeremy Corbyn, have criticised Theresa May’s 2042 target saying it is “far too long”.
The ban on plastic microbeads in cosmetics has also come into force in the UK, thanks to pressure from campaign organisations like Greenpeace.
The Treasury has also said it is looking at changes to taxation and new levies to tackle plastic waste however they are well and truly dragging their heels on this.
***Update 28/03/18: The government has just announced that all drinks containers (plastic, metal or glass) will be covered by a deposit return scheme – fantastic news!***
By far the most impressive contribution towards reducing plastic waste is not from businesses or politicians but from individuals and campaign organisations. It is often such campaigns that influence changes in policy and business practices in the first place. Here are just a handful to inspire you: