ESG Radio Broadcast 26th January 2017
Today we wanted to talk plastics, Brexit and the Trump Environmental Threat.
We have all watched, many with growing consternation, the passage of D Trump into the Oval office. His corporate pro oil background signals a possible throwback to peak industrial times in the USA that saw decades of environmental degradation with far reaching impacts on the rest of the planet. The environmental lobby today on climate change has grown to represent virtually all sectors of society: in education, science, green economies, global treaties and the ESG sincerely hopes that efforts to potentially reverse this progress will fail.
Brexit continues to headline our news showing also the divisive and uncertain nature of changes heralded by the referendum result last summer. The environment, our focus, is not mentioned much and is unlikely to be, as other priorities come to the fore. Regardless we shall continue to monitor the situation and push for continued high environmental standards that affect our quality of life and the environment.
Mainstream news juggernaut Sky is running a Plastics campaign this week highlighting the severe threat of plastics in our oceans. It is positive to see this crucial issue hit mainstream media but this is not a secret and has been widely known about for some decades now. Indeed the Clean up Campaign that we signed up to in 2005 has focused on this issue and much of our efforts have been on the threat of this material to the natural environment as well as co-coordinating Gibraltar wide clean ups. The founder of CUTW, Ian Kiernan, is a sailor and discovered hordes of plastic waste in every cove and distant coastline in his native Australia, which triggered the start of the huge global clean up campaign that for the past 25 years encourages people everywhere to rid their environment of litter and waste.
The good thing that will happen with the Sky Campaign is that ideas will be shared as to how to deal with single use plastics in our modern societies today. We have advocated for improved cleaning of shoreline and natural areas, greater recycling and improved facilities and containment of our waste. With 75% of waste entering the seas from land sources the solutions to the plastics ocean crisis must come from addressing these issues within every community.
At a corporate level solutions to improve in manufacturing will also help and increasing biodegradability and composition of plastics which will also help the situation. Another clever idea used in Norway, for example, is a money back service on plastic bottles akin to returns on glass bottles some decades ago. This results in 99% of bottles manufactured in Norway being recycled as all are returned in exchange for some money. This could be done in Gibraltar with some success. The present Government is also planning to legislate against the use of plastic bags and importation of microbeads in products – this is all positive too.
Meanwhile we continue to carry out voluntary clean ups of plastic waste from our shorelines. Remember you can take plastic rubbish to the Eco Park, off Devil’s Tower Road, where it will be baled for onward recycling.
For more information on local litter and waste issues and on the Clean up Campaign Gibraltar please email us at email@example.com