Climate Action

Earth Day 2018 – Plastic Pollution Global Trend

The theme for Earth Day 2018 was End Plastic Pollution. Despite severity of the problem and its impacts on environment and human health, plastic pollution was not yet a mainstream issue. Our goal was to dramatically increase global public awareness about the health, environmental and other risks associated with plastic pollution, leading to changes in attitudes, behaviors, policies and a powerful outpouring of public demand for reducing plastic pollution. REACH Our data speaks for itself.
  • 5.5 million pages in 17 languages were created on the Internet about “Earth Day 2018” and “plastics” in 17 languages.
  • In April 2018, “Plastic Pollution” trended its highest in the last five years both in the number of general searches and the number of news searches (Google Trends).
  •  At least 50 million people read the 5.5 million pages that Earth Day Network created on the campaign.
  • Global media outlets with a combined audience of 450+ million people covered our campaign.
  • The phrase “Plastic Pollution” reached at least 155+ million via social media reach in the US alone in April 2018.
  • #EndPlasticPollution had 15+ Million social media reach in April 2018.
IMPACT Since November of 2017 when our campaign launched, leaders across all industries around the globe have taken meaningful steps to End Plastic Pollution.
  • Companies and institutions taking steps to eliminate and significant reduce plastic pollution include Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds (Great Britain), Disney, Asda, Nestle, Lidl, Evian, Aldi, PepsiCo, Unilever, Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons, Sainsbury, Pret a Manger, P&G, Birds Eye, Costa, GM, H&M, Alaskan Airlines, The Church of England, the UN and WHO.
  • 23,0000+ plastic cleanups were registered in 2018 on Google in English alone; thousands of other events related to End Plastic Pollution were organized in 2018.
  • Our Toolkits and our Plastic Calculator were used over 100,000 times in the first trimester of 2018.
  • Over 10,000 non-profit partners disseminated EDN on plastic pollution information to their audiences.
  • Over 60 countries introduced bans and legislation to combat single use plastic.
  • As of January 1, 2018, Montréal became the first big city in Canada to ban single use plastic bags and the Canadian federal government is leveraging its presidency at this year’s G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Québec to push the global plastic problem front and center.
  • On June 5, India made one of the farthest-reaching commitments by any country to tackle the problem. Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan used World Environment Day to announce that India will, by 2022, “eliminate all single use plastics from our beautiful country.”
  • On October 25, 2018, the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a ban on single-use plastics such as straws, plates, cutlery and cotton-swab sticks in Europe by 2021, joining the global shift. The use of other plastics such as single-use burger and sandwich boxes that don’t yet have practical alternatives will be reduced by at least 25% by 2025, and 90% of beverage bottles will be recycled. The proposal is scheduled for final approval by Dec. 16, 2018.