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Celebrating Earth Day 2024: Planet vs. Plastics

Updated: May 23


Turtle swimming with plastic bags to represent the 2024 earth day theme of Planet vs. Plastic

We are almost in April (Earth Month), and Earth Day is coming up on the 22nd. Do you know how you can get involved?


We’ve got you covered with: 

  • The theme for this year

  • What 60x40 means

  • How you can take action 


If you aren’t familiar with Earth Day, we’ve got a whole blog post about how it started. 


Earth Day 2024 theme


Earth day mobilises over a billion people every year, which makes it the largest civic observance in the world. The yearly themes are a way to unite all these people around a common goal to create real change.


This year, it’s all about plastic pollution, with the theme Planet vs. Plastics. 


The goal is a pretty ambitious one: to ask the United Nations and Governmental Organizations to commit to a Global Plastic Treaty that would bind everyone to the same standards. 


These standards include a 60% reduction of all fossil fuel-based plastic production by 2040 (that’s where the 60x40 comes from) and would require anyone making or selling plastics to be liable for the cost of any environmental or health-related damages, in line with the “producer pays” principle.


Read the full petition here, and don’t forget to sign!


What can I do?


We’ve got a couple of quick tips to lower your personal plastic impact below, but we also urge you to take action outside your home, by joining a local cleanup effort, signing petitions, or contacting your MP about their stance on important climate issues. 


Join a clean up effort 

Cleaning up plastic from natural spaces helps protect biodiversity. You can find cleanups in local Facebook groups or on noticeboards. You can also look up your nearest climate group and see what they have on - Friends of the Earth is a helpful resource to find a climate group in your area


Sign a petition

Did you know that when government petitions reach 10,000 signatures the government will respond to it? If they reach 100,000 signatures, the petition will also be considered for debate in Parliament. You can see all the current UK petitions mentioning plastic here.  


Contact your MP about their commitment to the planet 

Getting things considered in parliament is just the first step. Luckily, our MPs work for their constituents (that’s us!), so our opinions matter, especially if enough of us voice them. Every time there’s an important climate topic up for discussion in parliament, you can write to your local MP and let them know your thoughts.

 

TheyWorkForYou is a great resource to find your MP, if you don’t know who they are already. They’ve also got a section on their website where you can see upcoming business in Parliament.


Actions at home


Recycling

We’re not recycling nearly as much plastic waste as we should be. Millions of tonnes are still being burned, sent to landfill, or shipped out to other countries. 


One reason for this is the lack of clear, simple, and readily-available information on recycling. Recycling within the UK is dealt with on a council level instead of nationwide, with each council differing significantly on what materials they actually recycle.


What you can do

Luckily, there’s a great resource to figure things out: Recycle Now. The page is full of useful information about waste, and you can:


  • Search by your postcode to see exactly what’s recyclable at your household collection 

  • See your collection site for every type of material 

  • Search for an item, if you’re not sure if it can be recycled


Plastics in your clothes

It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of plastics, but with so many synthetic fibres being used in our clothes, they’ve become a major source of pollution and generator of micro plastics. In fact, synthetic textiles are thought to be responsible for 35% of primary microfibres released into the ocean, making them the biggest contributor! (Source: Microplastics in the Oceans: a Global Evaluation of Sources, 2017)


What you can do

Start by looking for secondhand clothes, or if you really need something new, focus on natural fibres that won’t pollute the ocean. 

Natural fibres

Synthetic fibres (avoid)


We’ve got tons more tips about reducing your plastic use in the Furthr App. Have a look at our subscriptions here, or ask your employer if they’d be open to including a Furthr subscription as part of your benefits package.


We wish you a happy Earth Day 2024!

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