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Dear Reader,

This week the Ellen MacArthur Foundation published a white paper urging the UN to establish a treaty to tackle plastic pollution. Without a treaty the charity warned the volume of plastic on the market will double and the annual volume of plastic entering the oceans could triple.

Meanwhile, a new report from the UN warned that migratory species in the Asia-Pacific region are among the most vulnerable to plastic pollution. The report identified animals such as dolphins, Asian elephants, and migratory birds as being most at risk to the impacts of plastic pollution.

In other news, the UK Government is set to launch a consultation seeking views on which single-use items should be outlawed in England. They will consult the public on whether items such as single-use plastic plates and cutlery should be added to its single-use plastics ban, as it looks to reduce pollution.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Editor-in-Chief
Plastic Free Post

Ellen MacArthur Foundation urges UN to establish plastic pollution treaty

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) has published a white paper setting out the charity’s perspective on a UN treaty to address plastic pollution and support the transition to a circular economy for plastics. According to the EMF, a circular economy would eliminate all problematic and unnecessary plastic items, innovate to ensure that any plastics in circulation are reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and circulate all plastic items within the economy, keeping them out of the environment. Without action, the white paper warns, the volume of plastic on the market will double, the annual volume of plastic entering the ocean will triple, and ocean plastic stocks will quadruple within the next 20 years.

Read more here.

Migratory species in Asia-Pacific are most vulnerable to plastic pollution

Migratory species in the Asia-Pacific region are among the most vulnerable to plastic pollution, according to a new review of studies published by the UN. The report, released by the UN’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), assessed for the first time the impacts of plastic pollution on animals living on land and in freshwater environments in the Asia-Pacific region. According to the report, air-breathing freshwater mammals like river dolphins in the Ganges, land animals like Asian elephants, and migratory birds are most impacted by plastic pollution in the Asia-Pacific region.

Read more here.

Government to launch consultation on single-use plastics ban

The UK Government will launch a consultation this Autumn seeking views on what single-use items should and can be banned in England. The Government will consult on whether items such as single-use plastic plates, cutlery and polystyrene cups could join the list of single-use items that have already been banned. The items could join single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, which were banned from sale and distribution in England last October. Further details of the consultation, including the full list of single-use items under review, will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Read more here.

Morrisons reports early success for reusable glass milk bottles trial

Morrisons has received positive feedback for its recent glass milk bottle trial in seven stores across Kent and four stores around Sheffield. The bottles are delivered directly to Morrisons supermarkets by local dairy farms and once returned are collected and sanitised. The introduction of the bottles is expected to remove 40,000 plastic bottles from these Morrisons stores per year as well as reduce CO2 emissions – as delivery from local suppliers means milk covers shorter distances. A Morrisons spokesperson said: “Our customers have responded well to our glass milk bottles in our Kent and Sheffield stores. We are working with a number of other local suppliers and hope to be able to offer this to more customers in more stores in the coming months.”

Read more here.

New expedition begins to raise awareness of marine plastic pollution

Brazil’s seafaring Schurmann family, the first Latin American family to circumnavigate the world in a sailboat, has set sail on a two-year journey that will assess marine litter in international waters. The initiative, dubbed the Voice of the Oceans and supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), will raise awareness on plastic and microplastic pollution, as well as searching for innovative solutions and engaging governments and the public at every stop, from southern Brazil to New York, the Caribbean and New Zealand. 

Read more here.

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