Single-Use Plastics Campaign
The Clean Earth Trust (“CET”) is calling on the States of Guernsey to follow all EU countries, Scotland and the Isle of Man in banning the use of plastic cutlery, plates, straws, cotton bud sticks, balloon sticks, drink stirrers, food containers made of expanded polystyrene and products made from oxo-degradable plastic and to follow Jersey in banning the use of single use plastic carrier bags and plastic bags for life.
These single use plastics are harming our environment in at least the following ways:
They are made from fossil fuels. The production and eventual incineration of these plastics releases greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming and climate change.
They are commonly littered items and pollute our island; especially our beaches and sea. CET’s marine litter report found that 33 % of items collected on our beaches are single use plastics. The full report is at [hyperlink]
They harm mammals, birds and fish, which become trapped or entangled in them or mistake them for food but can’t digest them causing blockage in their gut. The consequences are often fatal and threaten biodiversity.
They do not biodegrade. Eventually, they break down into nanoplastics which are so tiny they become airborne and are inhaled or ingested by animals and humans. They are now found in most organs of the human body even in the placenta of unborn babies. In laboratory tests microplastics have been shown to damage human cells but, as yet, it is unclear what long term harm their presence in animals, including humans, may cause. That’s a risk we can reduce by banning these items.