Photo credit: Gary McHale
CET has launched a public petition calling for The States of Guernsey (SOG) to ban the supply of single use plastics. The petition follows the release of CET’s Marine Litter Report, which found 76% of the items littering the local marine environment were plastic and 33% were single use items.
In line with legislation in the EU, Scotland and Isle of Man, the ban will prohibit the sale, distribution or supply of the following single-use plastic items:
- cotton bud sticks
- balloon sticks
- drink stirrers
- food containers made of expanded polystyrene
- products made from oxo-degradable plastic
The petition also calls for SOG to introduce a plastic reduction policy to minimise the use of plastics within government, government-controlled businesses and at government events.
"Our public spaces, beaches and coastal waters are littered with discarded single use plastic items and very little is being done to address the causes of the problem in Guernsey. We have fallen behind other jurisdictions in taking responsibility for our plastic pollution. Action by SOG to curb the supply of single-use plastic items is an important first step,” explains Paul Bugden, Policy Officer of CET.
Single use plastics damage our environment because:
· They are made from fossil fuels, the production and eventual disposal of these plastics releases greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming and climate change.
· They find their way to the ocean and cause injury and death to marine mammals and birds through ingestion and entanglement.
· They break down into small particles, known as microplastics and nanoplastics, which enter the food chain and atmosphere. These particles have been found in most organs of the human body, even in the placenta of unborn babies, and there is considerable concern in scientific circles over the threat they pose to human health.
Other local groups are supporting the ban, including Plastic Free Guernsey. The charity’s Chair, Helen Young, comments: "Whilst the past few years have been heavy with other pressing matters, the importance of reducing the impacts caused by human dependence on plastics has never been far from our thoughts. We urge the public to take action, sign and share the petition."
Those interested in supporting the ban can sign the petition here.
For more information please go to www.cleanearthtrust.org/bansingleuse