Yesterday I wrote about the scandal of plastic dumping in developing countries, drawing on a recent report from GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives). They’re not the only ones working on the issue, and this week Tearfund launched a new campaign on rubbish.
Their research, summarised in the No Time To Waste report, highlights the health crisis that accompanies plastic pollution. Plastic clogs waterways and causes flooding. It creates breeding grounds for mosquitos and attracts vermin. Often the only way to deal with it is to burn it, which causes air pollution and respiratory illnesses. Tearfund estimate that someone dies because of mismanaged waste every 30 seconds.
Tearfund’s new campaign will be targeting four of the companies most responsible for the global plastic waste mountain: Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever. There are actions for all of us too, to try and reduce our own plastic use. You can sign a petition and take the ‘plastic pledge’ here.
It was great to see some front page news on this yesterday, with David Attenborough serving as spokesman for the report. “It is high time we turn our attention fully to one of the most pressing problems of today – averting the plastic pollution crisis – not only for the health of our planet, but for the wellbeing of people around the world.”