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Event topics

[Circular Economy] The story of the sea turtle and the plastic waste
Kind: Event topics  Organization: Department of International Cooperation  Publish Date: 2020-07-28 11:12
Open new window for At least 1,000 turtles die each year from being tangled in plastic waste(jpg)
At least 1,000 turtles die each year from being tangled in plastic waste [Photo: WWF-Australia]

In February 2018, with the aim of protecting the local ecosystem, the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu implemented a complete ban on the use of plastic straws, becoming the first country in the world to do so. Later the same year, Canada and the U.S. city of Seattle also implemented such bans.

In January of the same year, the EU adopted the first-ever "European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy," which will transform the way plastic products are designed, produced, used, and recycled in the EU. The strategy includes gradually implementing a total ban on the 10 most common types of disposable plastic products which contribute to marine pollution, such as plastic straws and bottles.

In 2015, a video of a plastic straw being pulled from the nostril of a sea turtle rescued off the coast of Costa Rica went viral, focusing global attention on the marine pollution problem. Similar stories, such as those of plastic garbage being found in the stomachs of whales, birds and fish found dead on beaches, have been growing in frequency around the world in recent years.

According to estimates, about 8 million tons of plastic waste enters oceans every year, which is equivalent to about one garbage truck full of plastic waste being dumped every minute. Plastic waste takes an average of more than 100 years to decompose. Given such facts, it is not surprising that plastic recycling and reuse is an important element of circular economy initiatives of governments around the world.
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Update: 2020-04-17
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