World Earth Day 2018
World Earth Day began in 1970, when it was proposed that a day should be set aside to celebrate nature and peace. Back then, Earth Day was celebrated in 2,000 schools and colleges in the USA. The activists involved were faced with challenges created by oil spills and vast sea pollution. While Earth Day 2018 is much bigger and will be celebrated in 184 countries, some of the problems remain the same.
On 22 April 2018, World Earth Day will focus on the effects of plastic on the environment. In recent years the plastic pandemic has made its way into the public consciousness. In Europe, some action has already been taken to begin addressing the issue through green levies. The plastic bag tax is the most obvious example and it has proved successful so far. In Ireland, the number of plastic bags used dropped an astonishing 94% in the months after the tax.
Other measures have been suggested, such as plastic free stores and the seemingly inevitable ‘latte levy’. These taxes will surely go a long way in tackling this global problem but education too has a huge role to play.
As mentioned, Earth Day is as much about education as it is celebration. The early celebrations often involved teach-ins and free seminars in universities. Since 1990, Earth Day participants have organised online seminars and distributed teaching materials globally, so this year is no different. The Earth Day toolkit is available here, it can help you celebrate Earth Day in classrooms or at home.
For individuals wanting to learn more, there is also a toolkit designed to track your plastic consumption. The long-term goal of the day is to help better understand the plastic effect on the environment and eradicate the problem. One of the biggest issues is that plastic waste can take hundreds of years to decompose.
At ReGen Waste we use some of Europe’s most advanced recycling techniques to better manage plastic waste. We recycle multiple types of plastic including films, bottles and domestic rigid plastics. Recycling materials such as bottles is vital – in fact in the UK, 13 billion plastic bottles are used annually but only 7.5 million are recycled. At ReGen they can be separated from other waste types and processed before being used once more.
At ReGen we can also process non-recyclable plastics, meaning less and less goes to landfill. These plastics can be used to make Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), whereby they are baled and transported to be used in Europe. Plastic that would have previously been disregarded can be used to heat homes and power factories. ReGen is an example of better education and modern tech working together to rid the world of plastic pollution, but there is plenty individuals can do.
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