Chancellor Philip Hammond is considering putting a tax on single use plastic (for example straws, takeaway containers, plastic cups, plastic forks etc) items in the United Kingdom. If he does put this tax forward he wants evidence that it will make a difference to the planet. He was inspired to do this because of a episode of BBC television series Blue Planet 2. In the episode he watched it highlighted the problems with plastic by showing an Albatross feeding its chick rubbish and a Pilot Whale carrying its dead calf. Scientists believe it died because its mothers milk was poisonous because of plastic she was eating! Fingers crossed that the tax get through.
Litter and plastic is a growing threat to our planet each and every day. Our ancestors have gone without plastic packaging for millenia so why do we need it now? Plastic is everywhere. Its wrapping our food, in our fish and is clogging up the oceans. We have to act now to stop the huge plastic problem that we have on our hands.
It is estimated that 420 million plastic bottles enter Australia’s marine environment each year. The world’s largest dump is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the world’s oceans every year and a lot of this is brought to the garbage patch by currents. Currently it is three times the size of Texas and is growing in size every single day. By 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean then fish. Every single minute 21,000 bottles and cans are littered or sent to landfill in Australia. Over 200 animal species are affected by marine debris. Plastic is a huge problem for the environment. Between 100-130,000 tonnes of Australian plastic waste has the potential to enter our waterways. 90% of seabirds have eaten plastic.
This is a step forward for the environment and we need for other governments around the world to come on board with the battle against plastic pollution. We can do our bit as well. By doing things like picking up 3 pieces of litter a day, recycling your soft plastics at Coles and raising awareness.
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