Plastic Pollution the Target for Earth Day 2018

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April 17, 2018

The Earth Day Network is targeting plastic pollution to mark Earth Day 2018. The organization, which has more than 50,000 partners in 195 countries, has action plans for individuals, educators, and other organizations. It's all part of efforts to eliminate single-use plastics.

Plastic bottle

Among the challenges for individuals is a calculation of how much disposable plastic they use in a year. The Earth Day Network (EDN) has developed an online calculator for that.

The EDN estimates that of the 9.1 billion tons of nonrecycled plastic generated so far, 6.9 billion tons of that (or 75 percent) is waste and only 9 percent has been recycled. Famous and worrying examples like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are obvious examples, but the EDN says that microplastics as waste can be found everywhere and not only threaten and kill animal wildlife but also pose a danger to humans.

The first Earth Day was in 1970; on that day, 20 million Americans gathered in auditoriums, parks and streets in order to rally for a stronger focus on the environment. It was the realization of the efforts of many people, including Wisconsin Senator Gaylor Nelson.

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David White