So we’ve reached the end of another year. I hope you all had a joyous Christmas and made sure you kept your waste to a minimum!
It’s hard, I know, but remember, every small action has a consequence and as a friend of mine always says, “Whenever you do something, something gets done”.
So in light of this I thought it would be a good time to write about a few things that make our global community shine; about those people who ‘do something’ despite the fact that their tasks appear impossible at first. I make no apologies for still harping on about plastic, by the way!
In Kenya, a fishing community is creating underwater gardens in the Indian Ocean, where coral reefs have been destroyed by fishing and human impact, by creating new ones. Residents in nearby Gazi Bay get paid for protecting their mangrove trees which absorb carbon dioxide and store it in their roots, helping to slow climate change and sustain sea life.
Mexico has created the largest marine park in North America. The Revillagigedo Archipelago is home to hundreds of species of rays, whales, sea turtles, lizards, birds and plants that aren’t found anywhere else. Now that it has been designated as a National Park, fishing is illegal so populations can recover from over fishing.
In Bali two teenage girls set up ‘Bye Bye Plastic’ to get Bali to ban plastic bags by 2018. This has now happened.
19 aquariums in America have pledged to eliminate single use plastic straws, bags and bottles by 2020.
The Oval Cricket ground has committed to go plastic free in 3 years. At a recent match day 60% fewer plastic bottles were sold, replaced with refillable bottles and water fountains.
Costa Rica has made the very impressive step of stating that it would like to be the first country to ban all single use plastics. It has a plan to phase out straws, bottles, cutlery, cups and bags by 2021.
Borough Market in London is also phasing out plastic bottles and offering free water fountains instead. The market is also aiming to achieve zero landfill status.
The UK is introducing the strongest ban on microbeads in the world to date after 385,000 people signed a petition run by Greenpeace.
Since introducing the 5p charge on carrier bags, the UK has seen an 83% reduction in use, equating to 9 billion fewer bags.
And most recently, our Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has spoken about plans he has to implement a four step plastic reduction scheme. He wants to cut the total amount of plastic in circulation, reduce the number of different plastics in use to help recycling firms, improve the rate of recycling and make it easier for individuals to know what can be recycled and what can’t.
Mr Gove has already been talking with drinks companies about a deposit scheme to cut the amount of plastic bottles finding their way into water courses and has said he intends to unveil the government’s long-delayed 25-year Environment Plan in the New Year.