Earth Day 2024

Earth Day 2024

Earth Day is an annual event held on April 22 to demonstrate broad support for environmental protection. The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, and the campaign includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by The official theme for Earth Day 2024 is ‘Planet vs Plastics’, with a commitment to end plastics for the sake of human and planetary health and demanding a 60% reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040.

A staggering 500 billion plastic bags were produced globally in 2023 – that’s a colossal one million bags per minute. Many plastic bags have a working life of just a few minutes, followed by an afterlife of centuries. Even after plastics disintegrate, they remain as microplastics, minute particles permeating every niche of life on the planet. Microplastics have even been detected at the summit of Everest.

In addition, 100 billion plastic drinks containers were sold in 2023 in the United States alone – that’s more than 300 bottles per inhabitant. Yet 95% of all plastics in the US are not recycled at all. Even the 5% of plastics that are recycled are simply ‘downcycled’ to inferior products, or shipped to third world countries for (supposed) recycling. Once exported, it means that fresh supplies of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are required for further plastic bottle manufacture, maintaining the same high demand for the raw product.

Which is why is focusing on reducing plastic production. The less plastic produced, the less need there will be for recycling. And the better off the planet will be!

Of course, there is one specific thing that would reduce the demand for plastics globally… a smaller population. Less people = less demand and less waste!

“The Planet vs Plastics campaign is a call to arms, a demand that we act now to end the scourge of plastics and safeguard the health of every living being upon our planet.” Kathleen Rogers – President, Earth Day Network

FACT: The manufacture of a plastic water bottle requires six times as much water as the bottle itself contains.

Earth Day 2024
Earth Day 2024

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    • #14041
      Chris Lewer

      It certainly makes more sense to focus on reducing the production of plastics as opposed to better recycling. Governments and private industry have proved that where recycling comes at a financial cost, they will take shortcuts wherever possible.

      But is it not far more sensible to look at reducing the demand in the first place?

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