If you did not know already, today is World Environment Day – to raise awareness about protecting the environment, United Nations (UN) has designated June 5 as World Environment Day. Each World Environment Day is organised around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern.
The theme for the World Environment Day 2018, “Beat Plastic Pollution”. Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place. This year it is India.
We’re all guilty of using too much disposable plastic – and despite the EU’s plans to end all non-recyclable plastic by 2030, change can’t happen soon enough. So with the theme #BeatPlasticPollution – here’s four simple things we can all do to help clean up the planet:
- Invest In A Canvas Bag
Every year the world uses 500 billion plastic bags with each one taking an average of 100 years to decompose and that’s only if it’s exposed to sunlight and air, which landfill rubbish often isn’t. That means that plastic bag you are using will probably outlive us all. Instead carry a canvas bag.
- Say No To Straws
Straws are the fifth most common item of rubbish – taking up to 500 years to break down! Only a fraction of plastic straws that we use for our drinks are recycled and the majority end up in landfill, in rivers and the sea, where they seriously damage marine life. The EU has proposed a total ban on plastic straws and cutlery, and many restaurants and bars have already switched to biodegradable options in a bid to help the environment.
- Use A Reusable Cup
Only one in 400 coffee cups are recycled in the UK and many can’t be reprocessed due to their inner plastic coating, designed to stop the liquid making the cardboard soggy. Now coffee shops are rewarding customers for bringing in their own reusable cups. Starbucks offer customers with reusable cups 25p off their beverage, they also sell reusable cups for £1, and will soon begin to charge 5p more for takeaway paper cups; Pret and Costa give 50p off any hot drink; while Caffé Nero gives double loyalty stamps; and independent shops have their own discount schemes.
- Drink Tap Water
Globally, we buy 1m plastic bottles every minute and each year 17m barrels of oil are used to produce them. Instead, invest in a reusable water-bottle.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia/Jedimenta44