Plastic pollution remains a topmost environmental concern
Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images
Microplastics could pose a threat to the sustenance of aquatic biodiversity when ingested by animals.
A woman carrying a child stands in front of a giant mound of plastic waste in Bekasi, West Java.
ANTARA FOTO/ Fakhri Hermansyah/pras
To ban or not to ban plastic bag use
Many sustainability-conscious people now find their cupboards stocked with plastic bottles of hand sanitiser, disposable wipes and takeaway food containers.
Ever wondered where the 5p you pay for plastic bags in the UK goes?
One use and done? Not always.
Many communities are banning single-use plastic shopping bags to reduce pollution, but a study in California shows that some consumers responded by purchasing more heavy plastic trash bags.
Shampoo containing plastic microbeads.
A plastic bag has an average usage time of 20 minutes, while it can take up to 1000 years to break down in the environment.
Buying reusable bags every time you shop is worse than just using plastic.
Offering free lightweight plastic bags causes excessive plastic use, while banning lightweight bags can increase the use of heavier plastic bags (such as bin liners). Coles’ decision brings out the worst of both worlds.
Providing thicker plastic bags for free is worse than pointless. It encourages the same wasteful habits, but with more damaging material.
Single-use plastics are convenient, but it’s time to phase them out.
Photo by Sander Wehkamp/Unsplash
How do you help a country get over plastic? By creating awareness and minor inconveniences and by providing lots of reminders.
Positive messaging wins the day.
AAP Image/Dallas Kilponen
Plastic bags will soon be gone from major supermarkets and many other shops too. Campaigns to reduce plastic even more should focus on positive advice, rather than shaming shoppers for their plastic use.
The Victorian government has a new proposal to ban plastic bags. What is it missing?
Victoria's proposed ban on single-use plastic bags is a step forward, but what about all the other unnecessary packaging? A truly effective waste policy should offer a comprehensive plan for packaging.
Adopting biodegradable bags will take a shift in mindset.
High costs, poor performance, a lack of manufacturing capabilities and local perceptions prevent biodegradable bags from taking root in Kenya.
Selling these new bags at 15 cents each, effectively creates another revenue stream with nearly A$71 million in gross profit.
Moves by major to supermarkets to only offer plastic bags for a charge could make these businesses more than a million dollars a year, but it may only have a small impact on the environment.
Reusing and recycling of plastic waste makes more sense for Kenya than a ban.
The plastic bag ban doesn't consider the impact it will have on Kenya's economy or consider other environmental alternatives.