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Dear Reader,

This week the World Economic Forum unveiled a new report which estimates that reusing 10 percent of plastic packaging would prevent as much as half of our annual plastic waste from entering the oceans.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) pushed back against UK Government proposals for organisations to share an extended producer responsibility for packaging. The FDF said it would bring a ‘massive cost’ to consumers, however campaign groups said the proposals were crucial for tackling the plastic crisis.

In other news, the amount of plastic waste in the River Mersey will be studied in a widespread survey to try to tackle the problem of littering. The Plastic Free Mersey project wants to highlight the scale of the problem and change people’s behaviour to reduce the impact on the environment.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Editor-in-Chief
Plastic Free Post

A 10% switch to reusables could cut ocean plastic waste by 50%

Reusing just 10 percent of plastic packaging would prevent as much as half of our annual plastic waste from entering the oceans, according to a new report. The research, carried out by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with management consultancy Kearney, examined the potential a reusable economy would have on tackling the world’s plastic crisis. The findings were based on interviews, data analysis, and scenario modelling across geographies, estimating that annual ocean plastic waste could be halved if 10% of all plastic packaging products were to be reused. 

Read more here.

Food lobby fights UK plan to make brands pay for litter picking

Food and drinks brands are pushing back against UK government proposals to make them pay for litter picking and business waste disposal as part of a global drive to make companies more responsible for used packaging. Plans to transfer additional waste processing and recycling costs to food brands “will result in a massive cost shock to consumers in the form of higher food prices,” said David Bellamy, environment policy manager at the Food and Drink Federation. The FDF represents the UK arms of multinationals such as Mars, Unilever and Cadbury owner Mondelez, along with smaller businesses. However, campaign group A Plastic Planet backed the proposals, saying  extended producer responsibility is “crucial” in combating the plastic crisis.

Read more here.

One in four Brits are incorrectly recycling polystyrene takeaway boxes 

One in four people are wrongly recycling polystyrene takeaway boxes according to a new poll. A One Poll survey, commissioned by HLP Klearfold, asked respondents if they recycle, why they recycle, and if they could identify any particular everyday plastic items that are recyclable or not such as plastic water bottles, plastic forks, polystyrene takeaway cartons, cling film and freezer bags. Despite the vast majority of people claiming they recycle (85percent), almost half (46percent) are wrongly putting plastic forks and polystyrene takeaway cartons (24percent) in with their recycling.

Read more here.

River Mersey project launched to tackle plastic litter

The amount of plastic waste in the River Mersey will be studied in a widespread survey to try to tackle the problem of littering. Each year about 900 volunteers collect roughly 1,000 bin bags of litter, much of it plastic, Mersey River Trust said. The Plastic Free Mersey project wants to highlight the scale of the problem and change people’s behaviour to reduce the impact on the environment. The findings should help tackle plastic pollution in other waterways. The two-year project is led by the Mersey Rivers Trust and Thames21, which has identified the most common items of plastic litter on the River Thames. Working with plastics and waste industries the project will identify if similar statistics apply to the River Mersey or if there are differences.

Read more here.

Team GB athletes to fly the ‘preventing plastic pollution’ flag

An Environment Agency flyer made of plantable seed paper has been included in the athletes’ official Tokyo Olympic 2020 kit bags. It signposts athletes to the Big Plastic Pledge website – a global campaign founded by Olympic sailing champion Hannah Mills that aims to unite athletes and fans from around the world to help tackle the issue of plastic pollution and eradicate single-use plastic in sport. The flyer features 3 key messages for athletes – make one simple change, like using a bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic varieties, shout about their preventing plastic pollution support, and use their position as worldwide role models to influence others.

Read more here.

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