FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|Earth Day Network|
|Phone: (202) 250-0376|
|E-Mail: [email protected]|
Monday, April 02, 2018
EARTH DAY NETWORK
Contact: Valeria Merino
Phone: +1 202-250-0376
Management of plastic waste is a global crisis, making the resulting plastic pollution one of the most pressing environmental problems. As part of Earth Day 2018 (April 22), Earth Day Network has released an online Plastics Pollution Calculator (https://www.earthday.org/plastic-calculator/) for consumers to calculate the amount of disposable plastic they use in a year and make plans to reduce the waste.
9.1 billion U.S. tons of virgin (non-recycled) plastic has been produced to date, generating 6.9 billion U.S. tons of plastic waste, and only 9% has been recycled. The world is already incapable of properly managing this enormous amount of waste, and the production of plastic is predicted to increase three times in the next 25 years. We know that micro-plastics are polluting our drinking water and the fish we eat and also cause health problems. Littered plastic not only kills wildlife but affects the lives of more than 2 billion people living without waste collection.
“Plastic pollution is now an ever-present challenge. We can see plastics floating in our rivers, ocean, and lagoons, littering our landscapes and affecting our health and, the future of billions of children and youth. We have all contributed to this problem – mostly unknowingly – and we must work to reduce and ultimately to End Plastic Pollution,” says Valeria Merino, Vice-President of Global Earth Day at Earth Day Network.
EDN is encouraging consumers to join the fight to reduce plastic pollution as part of its End Plastic Pollution campaign for Earth Day 2018. “You first need to know where you stand,” said Merino. “This plastic pollution calculator will help you determine your total yearly consumption of disposable plastic items.”
The Plastic Pollution Primer and Action Toolkit (https://www.earthday.org/wp-content/uploads/Earth-Day-Network-Plastic-Pollution-Primer-and-Action-Toolkit-updated-2.20.2018.pdf), also on the website, will help consumers determine actions they can take to reduce their plastic pollution footprint. EDN’s efforts center around the 5 Rs: “Reduce, Refuse, Reuse, Recycle and Remove” actions.
“Once you have learned the benefits of embracing the 5 Rs in your daily lives,” Merino said, “we hope you will create a goal for decreasing your yearly plastic pollution using the Plastic Pollution Tracker (https://www.earthday.org/wp-content/uploads/Plastic-Pollution-Calculator-Plan-and-Tracker.pdf) also available in the Toolkit.”
While recycling plastic waste is important, it is not nearly enough, notes Merino. “You may be lulled into thinking it is OK to consume disposable plastic products because you plan to recycle them, but many plastics can’t be efficiently recycled and will end up in the landfill or littering the planet, even in the most remote places. Also, some localities lack the most basic infrastructure to manage waste and to sort and recycle plastics. For this reason, it is much more important to focus on reducing your own level of plastic consumption,” she adds.
There are a number of things that will lessen your plastics impact:
Other ways to reduce plastic usage are available online in the Plastic Pollution Primer and Action Toolkit.
For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact