Sunday 18 August 2019

#OnePlasticFreeDay: Social media users give up plastic for environment campaign

The One Plastic Free Day campaign coincided with World Environment Day on Wednesday.

(Nicholas Murrall/Getty Images)
(Nicholas Murrall/Getty Images)

By Emily Chudy, Press Association

Social media users have been documenting their plastic usage as part of a campaign to create a “visual survey” of global plastic pollution.

Coinciding with World Environment Day on Wednesday, campaign group A Plastic Planet asked people to photograph a plastic item they wish to switch to an environmentally friendly version, and post it on social media using the hashtag #OnePlasticFreeDay.

The results will form the basis of an interactive world map where global plastic pollution hot-spots can be identified.

In 2018, a quarter of a billion people joined in the first One Plastic Free Day.

To mark the campaign, the logo will be projected at tourist sites including Times Square in New York.

Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, said: “One Plastic Free Day 2019 belongs to the world. It is not about any single organisation or individual.

“From Lagos to London, Phuket to Paris, it’s about people coming together to gather vital intelligence on the true extent of the plastic crisis.”

Nicki, a Wilshire resident who did not want to reveal her last name, took a photo of her tea to raise awareness of the fact that some tea brands use plastic to help seal the individual bags.

She said: “I believe, as consumers, we have to make our voices heard.

“If we don’t all make changes in what we consume and pressure our leaders and businesses to be accountable, nature as we know it will be irrevocably affected.”

Karina Em from Slovakia replaced plastic cotton swabs with bamboo cotton buds for One Plastic Free Day.

She said: “Me and my partner became members of Marine Conservation Society after Carl started doing his scuba diving. We opened our eyes and noticed how much plastic and waste is in oceans and decided to help the environment.

“We help cleaning beaches or our local parks and decided to change our lifestyle as well. We use natural shampoo bars, soaps, bamboo toothbrushes, make-up in glass jars.

“So, for us, it’s not only a day, it’s a lifestyle.”

A Plastic Planet’s campaign comes after months of demonstrating for action on plastic waste and pollution by environmental activists.

In April, climate group Extinction Rebellion occupied four prominent sites in central London over a period of 11 days to demand Government action on climate change.

The UK Parliament has since become the first in the world to recognise a “climate change emergency”.

Ms Sutherland said: “So far there have been too many words and not enough action.

“June 5 is the time for everyone to join together to show industry and governments that we, the public, have had enough.

“We don’t want to be part of the plastic pollution problem any longer.”

PA Media

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