Single use plastic pollution in the ocean

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Climate News

20/01/2023

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Published 1/20/2023

In this week’s climate news, we’re looking at single-use plastics, ozone restoration, blustering winds and zero deforestation...

  • HARD TO HAVE MISSED: Single-use plastics could be banned in England – great news right..? Well, kinda... any reduction in single-use plastic should be applauded but don’t assume the plastic problem is solved. Firstly, the ban doesn’t apply to supermarkets and shops, so whilst it is a step in the right direction, it’s also a pretty small one. Secondly, the government needs to ensure that the policy doesn’t simply shift the problem elsewhere to ‘biodegradable’ plastics that can’t always be recycled or composted at home.
  • SHOULD HAVE BEEN BIGGER NEWS: The hole in the Earth’s ozone layer, once the most feared environmental peril facing humanity, is set to be completely healed over most of the world within the next two decades, the UN reports. The success of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer, has supported the elimination of 99% of ozone-depleting chemicals since 1989, which shows that coordinated global action on climate change is possible.
  • NAUGHTY NATURE: The blustery conditions across the UK last week might not have been the most fun... But, it has enabled the UK to break its record for wind power generation. The strong wind speeds and growing number of turbines meant that wind consistently made up 46-59% of all UK electricity generation during the past week.
  • PLANETARY POLITICS: Brazil’s President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has revoked or altered climate-damaging measures imposed by former President Bolsonaro. The measures have been put in place to support Lula’s aim for zero deforestation in the Amazon and include the protection of indigenous lands and communities, and restoring the Amazon Fund.