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There is really no way around it – our obsession with plastic is having a devastating impact on the planet. Every year, we produce 300 million tons of plastic and around 8.8 million of those make their way into the world’s oceans, effectively endangering 700 marine species with extinction. These statistics, although positively shocking, should not be just disheartening but rather a call to action – especially since it is through action alone that anything can be done with the problem of pollution of the oceans.

The good news is there are many individuals and governments standing up against plastic pollution. From plastic bag taxes to incentives for recycling disposables, initiatives to reduce plastic waste are becoming the new normal. The UK’s proposed bottle return program would do just that. According to a petition on Care2, under the scheme, a small charge would be imposed on plastic bottles and cans and given back to the customer upon their returning the empties to collection points.

The petition also explains that schemes similar to this have already been introduced in such countries as Germany and Belgium with collection rates up to 98 percent! Government legislation has a great impact on the numbers – a fact also proved, for example, by the plastic bag charge which cut the use of plastic bags by around 80 percent. With more eco-friendly laws we can help the environment even more.

We can no longer afford to treat plastic waste carelessly. Currently, 78 percent of all the plastic disposed of globally each year is not recycled but left to pollute the planet and, already, half the world’s reported to have plastic in their stomachs and by 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. This is the price the planet has to pay for our convenience and indifference.

In this dire situation, every single action counts – show your support and sign the petition to introduce the plastic bottle return scheme in the UK! To learn more about how you can reduce your own plastic waste right now, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign.
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Image source: Lijphoto/Shutterstock

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