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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 get rid of plastic from their each day lives, has launched its ‘My Plastic Action Counts’ marketing campaign to remind Australians that their actions rely for extra than simply avoiding waste.
Australians are the most important customers of single-use plastic waste on the planet, producing a mean of 59kg of plastic waste per particular person a yr. Just 15% of the plastics consumed has been recovered. According to 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 particular person ingests about 250 grams of microplastics a yr— a few bank card’s weight in plastic each week.
In a 2020 survey, the non-profit found that two-thirds (66%) of members discovered it more durable to make adjustments to scale back single-use plastic as a consequence of COVID-19, with well being measures rising the utilization of single-use plastic for a lot of takeaway gadgets, in addition to a surge in demand for PPE reminiscent of single-use face masks, gloves and bottles of hand sanitizer.
The sense of urgency to show the tide in opposition to 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,” stated Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, founder and government director of Plastic Free July and the Plastic Free Foundation.
“If we solely begin to handle plastic waste as soon as it’s within the bin, we’re not going to repair the issue. Instead, ‘My Plastic Action Counts’ celebrates the ability all of us must stay our values and defend our well being, our communities and our surroundings by means of waste avoidance and discount. Every particular person might be a part of the answer, and each motion counts in direction of this shared objective.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the 2020 Plastic Free July problem every lowered 21kg of waste and collectively contributed to 900 million kg of plastic waste prevented worldwide. According to the Plastic Free July Foundation, 85% of members made adjustments which have turn into habits past July.
“There are tens of millions of Australians doing the suitable factor by selecting to refuse single-use plastics. Over the final 12 months we’ve seen our members staying COVID-19 secure similtaneously nonetheless taking steps to scale back hurt to the surroundings,” stated the Plastic Free July founder.
“Now is the time to hitch in and make a distinction by wanting on the plastics in your life, merely look within the bin, have a look at the litter that’s on the road round you, and decide one or two options reminiscent of selecting reusable material masks or espresso cups, selecting unpackaged produce or switching to a bar of cleaning soap. Together our plastic motion counts in direction of the well being of our planet and folks.”
While 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 availability facet – the supply of the plastic air pollution. Compiling knowledge on the world’s worst corporate plastic polluters, the organisation works to make sure that companies are taking duty for his or her function in flooding the market with plastics and that they aren’t externalising all the prices to society and governments. “Companies should urgently rethink and redesign how they ship merchandise to their clients,” its 2020 brand audit report states. “The present enterprise fashions of FMCG corporations are based mostly on advertising and marketing and promoting their merchandise in single-use plastic packaging, and conveniently passing the burden of managing their throwaway packaging onto customers, taxpayers and native governments.”
Plastic Free July, which started with a Facebook group of 40 pals in Australia, has made enormous strides within the world battle in opposition to plastic air pollution, with an estimated 326 million members 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.
Keen to scale back your single-use plastic consumption? Check out our submit: Plastic Free July: 10 Tips for a Month Without Single-Use Plastic.
To study extra in regards to the Plastic Free July motion, go to www.plasticfreejuly.org.
Cover picture by Karolina Grabowska.