The plastic plan: The right kind of thinking

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Last Thursday, the Conservative government announced its plan to eradicate plastic waste by 2049. This is a move in the right direction; the nation now has a goal to work towards.

Theresa May has ambitions for environmental policy

The environment strategy will include:

  • Introducing plastic-free aisles  in supermarkets
  • Extending the 5p plastic bag charge to all retailers
  • Exploring charges on single-use items
  • Helping developing nations with their waste problems

The importance of this move can’t be overstated – there is now an international benchmark for environmental policy. This could mean greater efforts worldwide to reduce plastic waste.

This comes in the wake of the BBC’s autumn airing of Blue Planet 2, where the effects of plastic waste in the ocean were shown to be harming marine life on a colossal scale. David Attenborough mentioned how the film crews had seen plastic in every location, including the remote seas of Antarctica.

Millions of square kilometres of plastic is floating in the ocean

While this policy has been in the works for a while, the programme has certainly highlighted the importance of the policy. However, there is only one way this can be successful – if there is an international following. The rest of the world needs to club together in order to make a significant reduction in global plastic waste.

That’s why helping developing nations is so key, where historically environmental policy is lax. Through aiming to improve global environmental policy, the UK is looking the right way.