Ban single-use plastics in food and drink packagingActions 4 Change
We want to live in a society that is free from single-use plastics. Governments should implement more policies that reduce the use of plastics, such as the plastic bag tax. We also want to see more businesses investing in and using plastic alternative products, such as geo-nets for fishing and biodegradable food and drink packaging.
Why does this Action 4 Change matter?
Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges we face today. Plastic still plays a large role in our food systems. Why you ask? Plastic is long-lasting, very cheap and has many important uses throughout the food system, from farming to wrapping vegetables on store shelves.
Additionally, 40% of the demand for plastic comes from single-use products. Bottled water can be essential to saving lives in places where the water isn’t safe to drink, but single-use packaging has also become an unnecessary part of our expectation for constant convenience. On top of this only 9% of plastic is recycled, leaving an immense amount of waste left on our planet.
Our recycling systems can’t cope with the volume of plastic we’re using. Wealthy countries ship plastic to be sorted and recycled and can impact on poorer communities in other countries.
As citizens, we’ve called for bans on straws and bags, and we’ve tried to reuse plastic where possible. But further change is necessary to protect our planet and our health.
Youth in Action:
Zulma Lopez Reyes is a young climate activist from Columbia who strongly believes in the need to ban single-use plastics. She was driven to this topic due to great concern about the origin and destination of these plastics and the impact they are having on the planet. Zulma is a university student and like many has a busy lifestyle, often eating out or taking-away food. She noticed the large amounts of disposed single-use plastics and knew she had to take action. After many attempts and failures to convince her friends and family to bring their own reusable containers she decided there was another way forward. Zulma’s experience seeing her community unwilling to make personal changes motivated her to become a member of the Students for Sustainability group at her university. This group is demanding changes to make their school campus more sustainable.
After many months of advocacy and awareness building, Zulma was able to participate in negotiations with university decision makers and work with other departments to discuss the changes they wanted to see made around campus Their campaigning resulted in plastic bags being banned at the supermarket and the incorporation of eco-labels showing water intensity, GHG emissions of the major ingredients of the meals, as well as the country of origin of the protein sources. Zulma and her classmates are currently planning their next phase of action which includes the ban of single-use plastic at their cafeteria, encouraging other local restaurants to reduce plastic use, and continued engagement with the wider student body to raise awareness on the topic.
One step at a time! Engage with people who are committed to striving, and together raise awareness among your community because you will need their support when reaching out to the decision-makersZulma Lopez Reyes