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Dear Reader,

This week the UK Government was urged to make tackling the plastic crisis a priority at the G7 summit by placing a global plastics treaty on the agenda, with a view to seeing countries around the world combat plastic pollution collaboratively.

The call was made in an open letter, organised by A Plastic Planet and signed by a host of influential figures, which said the UK could be a world leader in tackling plastic by getting the wheels in motion for such a treaty at the summit.

In other news this week, new research revealed plastic debris on remote islands has been found to increase local maximum temperatures by nearly 2.5C. Meanwhile, the Canadian government has declared plastic products as toxic under Canadian Environmental Law as it looks to push forward a single-use plastics ban.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Plastic Free Post

UK Government must put global plastics treaty on G7 agenda

Some 30 global figures have today called on the UK Government to make tackling the plastics crisis a priority at the G7 Summit in June. An open letter, organised by A Plastic Planet, and signed by influential figures and organisations including  television presenter Chris Packham, Nestlé, the Co-op, and Aldi, urged the Government to place a global plastics treaty on the summit’s agenda. With the summit set to take place in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, from June 11 – 13, the letter says only a globally aligned approach will tackle plastic pollution. More than 70 governments worldwide have expressed support for such a treaty, and the group believes the summit represents an opportunity for the Government to introduce it.

Read more here.

UK under growing pressure to ban all exports of plastic waste

Campaigners are urging the UK government to ban the export of plastic waste to all countries, invest in a domestic recycling industry, and set a binding target for plastic reduction. Activists are pushing for the environment bill to be strengthened to tackle more effectively the global plastic waste crisis. Leading the calls for stronger measures are A Plastic Planet, as well as Greenpeace, who revealed last week how plastic waste from UK supermarkets was being burned and dumped in Turkey rather than being recycled.

Read more here.

Plastic products declared toxic under Canadian Environmental Law

Plastic items are now officially considered toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The decision to list plastics as toxic under the CEPA paves the way for the government’s proposal to ban a number of single-use items. The move has been described by environmental campaigners as a “bold message” to the plastic industry.

Read more here.

Plastic debris on remote islands raises temperatures by 2.5C 

Accumulated plastic debris on the beaches of two remote island groups increased local maximum temperatures by nearly 2.5C, new research has found. A study of Henderson Island in the South Pacific and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, a remote territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean, found that plastic pollution acts as an insulator, increasing the temperature of the underlying sand. Researchers warn the daily temperature fluctuations as a result of plastic pollution could have significant implications for coastal ecosystems, including animals such as sea turtles and migratory shorebirds.

Read more here.

Honeybees are accumulating airborne microplastics on their bodies

New research suggests that honeybees are catching not just pollen on their furry bodies but also microplastics. Bees have evolved to have hairy bodies that pick-up pollen, with the hairs being electrostatically charged during flight to help things stick. However, according to the study published in Science of The Total Environment, about one-sixth of all particles found on the bees studied were microplastics. Scientists now propose bees could be used to assess pollution and measure airborne microplastics. It also helps explain the prevalence of microplastic in honey.

Read more here.


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