World Earth Day 2018

World Earth Day 2018

22nd April 2018 by Penny
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Plastic bags can take up to a 100 years to disintegrate completely. This landfill example at Monterey Marina captures the enormity of the problem . PHOTO BY JEFF LINDENTHALL

Earth Day this year is dedicated to building awareness about the pollution caused by plastic and the need to end its use.

Earth Day is about reflecting on our environment and how production and waste impacts on all of our futures...there is no longer time to ‘do something tomorrow’ we need to do it today. 

Without doubt we are becoming more aware of the waste we leave behind, but if anyone needs more convincing consider some of these images and facts behind why we need to #endplasticpollution 

The shocking story behind this photo is that almost half of the critically endangered Greater Adjutant storks live on landfill. Garbage has over taken their natural habitat so they wait patiently to scavenge at a landfill near Guwahati in India. Photo by Sandesh Kadur

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. A swirling mass of debris large enough for a shipwrecked sailor to survive three years on.

Based on a study of over 370 autopsies, one in three Leatherback sea turtles have plastic in their stomach, most often a plastic bag. Turtles confuse plastic bags for their staple diet of Jelly Fish.

The new re-cycling schemes announced by the goverment earlier this year has to be good news and in conjunction with WRAP a hard hitting campaign called Plastic Planet is hitting our high streets. "From the sea to the land, Earth is becoming a Plastic Planet. Most of the plastic waste in the UK doesn't actually end up in our oceans, but a lot is disposed of in our environment – burned or buried in landfill sites. People are increasingly worried about this and its impact on nature, and they're right to be. 79% of the plastic waste ever created is still in our environment. We are leaving a legacy of plastic waste on our planet that will take years to put right."

We’re personally fortunate to live on the beautiful North East Coast & Tynemouth has become the first place in the North East to be awarded plastic-free status. This has been very much down to Surfers Against Sewage whoes local reps have worked hard to build awareness with regular beach cleans and persuading local businesses to swap throwaway plastic items for reusable or biodegradable alternatives. 

It’s unrelenting though, each tide brings a reminder of the pollution and particularly plastic in our seas. We may not be able to reverse the damage already done to our earth, but if we all do our bit collectively we can help preserve what we have. This Earth Day let’s make a pledge to remember our shopping bags, use our own take out coffee cup, change from plastic to biodegradable rubbish bags...three little things which can make a big difference! 

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