After a local 2nd grade student successfully petitioned the Portland City Council in 2018 to mitigate plastic straw use in city-owned buildings, the Maine Chapter took it to the next level with Council interest to pass a citywide ordinance becoming the first municipality in Maine to ban single-use plastic straws, stirrers and splash sticks.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Paul Brown
A sustainable food policy which ends red meat meals has improved student diets and boosted a university catering service's profits.
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The government of India is set to impose a nationwide ban on plastic bags, cups and straws on October 2, officials announced, in its most sweeping measure yet to eradicate single-use plastics from cities and villages that have ranked among the world's most polluted.
The ban will be comprehensive and will cover manufacturing, usage, and import.<div id="18e53" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="I46ZMO1576661510"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1166704523680931842" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">India is set to ban 6 single-use plastic items nationwide, including plastic bags, cups, plates, small bottles, str… https://t.co/LnqBkNmfR3</div> — Shivya Nath (@Shivya Nath)<a href="https://twitter.com/shivya/statuses/1166704523680931842">1566999009.0</a></blockquote></div><p>India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who is leading efforts to scrap such plastics by 2022, is set to launch the campaign with a ban on as many as six items on October 2, the birth anniversary of <a href="https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi" target="_blank">Mahatma Gandhi</a>, officials said.</p><p>These include <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/plastic-bags" target="_self">plastic bags</a>, cups, plates, small bottles, straws and certain types of sachets, said the officials, who asked not to be identified, in line with government policy.</p><p><em>"</em>The ban will be comprehensive and will cover manufacturing, usage and import of such items<em>," </em>an official said.</p><p>In an Independence Day speech on August 15, Prime Minister Modi had urged people and government agencies to <em>"take the first big step"</em> on October 2 towards freeing the country of single-use plastic.</p>
The ban will shave 5-10 percent from India's annual consumption of about 14 million tonnes of plastic.<div id="73dd3" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2PGU021576661510"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1167351473539170305" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">#India to ban single-use plastic products from October 2. @PMOIndia @narendramodi Ji who is leading efforts to scr… https://t.co/EPjdFngaYz</div> — Anshul Dave (@Anshul Dave)<a href="https://twitter.com/anshul_dave/statuses/1167351473539170305">1567153254.0</a></blockquote></div><p>The ban on the first six items of single-use plastics is expected to shave 5 to 10 percent from India's annual consumption of about 14 million tonnes of plastic, the official said.</p><p>He added, penalties for violations of the ban will probably take effect after an initial six-month period to allow people time to adopt alternatives. Some states have already outlawed polythene bags, according to <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-pollution-plastic-exclusive/exclusive-india-set-to-outlaw-six-single-use-plastic-products-on-october-2-sources-idUSKCN1VI19F" target="_blank">Reuters</a>.</p><p>The government also plans tougher environmental standards for plastic products and will insist on the use of <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/recycling" target="_self">recyclable</a> plastic only, the official said.</p><p>It <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-pollution-plastic-exclusive/exclusive-india-set-to-outlaw-six-single-use-plastic-products-on-october-2-sources-idUSKCN1VI19F" target="_blank">will also ask</a> e-commerce companies to cut back on plastic packaging that makes up nearly 40 percent of the country's annual plastic consumption, the officials said.</p><p>Cheap smartphones and a surge in the number of internet users have boosted orders for e-commerce companies, such as Amazon.com Inc and Walmart Inc's Flipkart, which wrap their wares — from books and medicines to cigarettes and cosmetics — in plastic, pushing up consumption.</p>
The world is waking up to the plastic mess we are creating.<p>Earlier this year the European Union announced plans to ban single-use plastic items such as straws, forks, knives and cotton buds by 2021.<a href="https://www.brightvibes.com/1037/en/the-final-straw-eu-parliament-has-just-voted-to-ban-single-use-plastics-in-bid-to-tackle-pollution" target="_blank"></a></p><p>And elsewhere in Asia, China's commercial hub of Shanghai is gradually reining in use of single-use plastics in catering, and its island province of Hainan has already vowed to completely eliminate single-use plastic by 2025.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from our media associate <a href="https://www.brightvibes.com/1422/en/india-set-to-ban-six-single-use-plastic-items-on-october-2" target="_blank">BrightVibes</a>.</em></p>
Governors in Vermont and Maine signed bills on Monday that will ban plastic bags in their states next year, The Hill reported.
The Maine ban will go into effect next Earth Day, April 22, 2020. The Vermont ban, which extends beyond plastic bags and is the most comprehensive plastics ban so far, will go into effect in July 2020. The wait time is designed to give businesses time to adjust to the ban.
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By Wesley Rahn
Thin plastic produce bags are often used only once to carry fruits and vegetables home from the supermarket, and are then thrown away without a second thought.
Symbolic Cents Against Plastic<p>Around three years ago, Aldi — like many other German supermarkets — decided to charge customers for larger plastic grocery bags at the register. According to the company, the use of the plastic bags in Germany has dropped since by two-thirds. Aldi cited this as evidence for the payment system bearing fruit.</p><p>"We are following a similar principle with the symbolic cent for our disposable plastic fruit and vegetable bags," said Kristina Bell, an Aldi corporate responsibility director, in a press release. </p><p>German environmental activists, however, said Aldi's initiative didn't go far enough.<br></p><p>Environmental Action Germany (DUH), a German environmental activism group, said in a statement released Tuesday, that Aldi's move was "purely a symbolic policy" and would not be effective in getting consumers to stop using the bags.</p><p>"If Aldi is serious about protecting the environment, then the single-use produce bags should cost at least 22 cents," said DUH's acting director, Barbara Metz, in a press release. "This amount would actually mean the end for this particularly short-lived product."</p><p>DUH cited Ireland as an example, where a fee of 22 cents for larger shopping bags drastically reduced their usage. The group argued that if a fee of more than 20 cents worked with normal-sized bags, it would be especially effective with the smaller produce bags.<br></p>
By 2018 Ocean Heroes: Claire MacQueen (13 years old), Sabine Thomas (13) and Ava Inskeep (14)
We despise single-use plastics. We want to keep our oceans and our beaches clean. Early last year I (Claire) lived in India for several months and became curious about plastic waste, as it was much more visible in India than back home in the U.S. Seeing all the plastic waste while I was visiting helped me to understand that much of the trash produced by the U.S. actually ends up in developing countries, like India, which does not have a proper waste management system like we do at home, which causes a ton of trash to end up in waterways and the ocean.
Local governments in England and Wales have said that only about a third of the plastic food containers recycled by their constituents are actually able to be processed in recycling facilities, BBC News reported Saturday.
London's busy financial capital has made a significant announcement to stop plastic waste.
By Emy Kane
The introduction of bill No. 936 by New York City Councilman Rafael Espinal, Jr. marks a veritable tipping point in the spread of single-use plastic straw bans across the globe. From Taiwan to Portland, the city-wide takeover our team began with our Strawless in Seattle campaign has certainly taken off and created a global movement not only of citizens but also elected officials taking action to protect their waterways and their environments.
By Katie Day and Trent Hodges
When we think of plastic pollution, we think of images of plastic bags on the beach, suffering marine life and the almost invisible smog of microplastics in our ocean. What often gets overlooked is the fact that conventional plastic is made from fossil fuels, and is a product of the oil and gas industry.
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And while reusable straws made of bamboo or metal already exist on the market, the Santa Fe-based team at FinalStraw have invented the world's first collapsible, reusable straw you can conveniently attach to your keychain so you won't forget to bring your own when you're on the go.
By Jen Fela
We're celebrating a huge moment in the global movement for a plastic-free future: More than one million people around the world have called on big corporations to do their part to end single-use plastics.
Now we're taking the next big step. We're setting an ambitious new goal: A Million Acts of Blue.
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Chris J. Ratcliffe / Greenpeace
By Louise Edge
The long awaited policy from the world's largest soft drink company featured a series of measures weaker than those previously announced for Europe and the UK.