The Week in Plastic July 27-August 2

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

#PlasticFreeJuly wrapped up this month, with a record-breaking 326 million people across the globe having pledged to reduce their plastic consumption. Hopefully, the efforts of many will extend beyond the end of the July campaign.

On the #legislation front, a recently proposed EU tax on non-recycled plastics continued to stir controversy, with EU plastic makers predictably opposing the proposal. The new €0.80/kg tax on non-recycled plastic packaging waste was approved by the European council as as measure to raise revenue while incentivizing recycling.

McDonald's will auction off these themed suits made of plastic straws and other waste.

In #science news, a study published this week reports on a tiny creature that eats microplastic and quickly turns it into "nanoplastic". Is that a good thing? According to the lead author, maybe not. Nanoplastics, too small to even be seen by the naked eye, could very easily enter the food chain. Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum published a new report on "Plastics, the Circular Economy, and Global Trade".

Finally, a bit of dark humor: fast-food giant McDonald's launched a bizarre greenwashing ad campaign featuring swimwear made from recycled plastic straws. While McDonald's is a massive source of plastic pollution, they have pledged to source all packaging from renewable or recycled sources by 2025. We'll see... currently only 10% of the chain's locations even provide recycling.


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