Wednesday, September 28, 2016 | By EarthShare | No Comments
7 Tips to Fight Plastic Pollution
Enormous gyres made up of plastic “soup” have been found in all our oceans. The infamous North Pacific Gyre, also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, covers an area twice the size of Texas! Meanwhile, plastic chemicals like BPA are endocrine disruptors and, when ingested over time, can cause cancer, birth defects, and behavior problems.
All this plastic is wreaking havoc on our health and environment. Here are some tips from EarthShare members on fighting back against plastic pollution:
Support Bag Fees and Bans. Policy is the most effective tool to fight plastic pollution. Tell your local, state, and federal politicians that you want to dis-incentivize wasteful plastic use. Check out the cities that have already done it.
Put pressure on manufacturers. If you believe a company could be smarter about its packaging, make your voice heard. Write a letter, send a tweet, or give your money to a more sustainable competitor (NRDC).
Volunteer to Cleanup a Waterway. Sign up to participate in one of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanups or Surfrider Foundation’s Cleanups. It’s a fun (and eye-opening) way to care for your local environment.
Reduce *Before* Recycling. While it’s better than the landfill, recycling plastic isn’t a sustainable solution. Plastic degrades as it’s recycled and is sometimes exported to other countries. Reduce first, then reuse, then recycle (Save Our Shores).
Keep Plastic Out of the Kitchen. Avoid heating plastic containers and use kitchen dishes and implements made of glass, porcelain, wood, and stainless steel instead (CEHN).
BYO (Bring Your Own) Everything. From utensils and mugs to bags and diapers, we can kick the single-use habit by purchasing longer-lasting products meant to be reused (Surfrider Foundation/Earth Island Journal).
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | By The Wilderness Society | No Comments
On Monday, September 26, the Colorado Bureau of Land Management state office announced that it will be pursuing a master leasing plan in Southwest Colorado.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | By Martha Roberts | No Comments
Opponents have conceded the EPA has authority, and some other surprising elements about the case.
Monday, September 26, 2016 | By Sam Parry | No Comments
Questions about climate and energy policies span all top voter issues, but are usually overlooked during presidential debates.
Saturday, September 24, 2016 | By EarthShare | No Comments
Global Movement Fights Plastic Pollution
woodleywonderworks / Flickr
By Break Free from Plastic
Scientists predict that without urgent action there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. Yet, despite the danger that plastic pollution poses to our planet and to human health, industry and governments have so far failed to face up to the systemic change required to solve the issue.
That’s why a network of 100 NGOs, including EarthShare members Surfrider Foundation, Clean Water Action, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, and Oceana, just released a groundbreaking new global vision for a future free from plastic pollution.
The vision’s includes 10 principles that represent the first step in a global movement to change society's perception and use of plastics.
Some of these principles include prioritizing waste reduction; building a materials lifecycle that sustains the health of the people and the planet; and working with producers and workers to change the system.
"This is the first time that groups from all around the world have come together to find a common solution to plastic pollution,” said Monica Wilson from GAIA. “It shows the evolution of a movement that is pushing governments, cities and major companies to solve this ever-growing problem. This isn’t just about managing the problem. It’s about preventing it in the first place.”
The environmental impacts of plastic pollution are well understood. A significant amount of plastic production is for single-use disposable applications. Nearly a third of plastic packaging escapes collection systems and winds up in the oceans. Once there, sunlight and ocean currents shred plastic debris into smaller particles called microplastics, which attract and concentrate toxic chemicals up the marine food chain and into our bodies.
Plastic is also a human rights issue. Increasingly, consumer goods companies sell goods wrapped in plastic into markets without waste management systems that can adequately handle the materials. In the US, most plastic ends up in incinerators and landfills, endangering nearby communities, which are frequently low-income communities and communities of color.
It is clear that without strong and coordinated effort by policy makers, businesses will continue to use plastic indiscriminately and the pollution will intensify.
“For years, the plastics industry has been telling us that all plastics are recyclable, but what we find in the field demonstrates that we can not recycle our way out of the plastic pollution problem,” said Martin Bourque, Executive Director of the Ecology Center who runs the United States’ longest-operating curbside recycling program.
We call on US corporations and governments to lead the way to a future free from plastic pollution. We also stand in solidarity with people around the world who are implementing real community-based solutions.
To learn more, visit http://breakfreefromplastic.org/.
Friday, September 23, 2016 | By Diane Regas | No Comments
These steps will lead to a more stable future for our planet and growing population.