One Tasmanian family emerged from their home after a long weekend to find garbage strewn across their previously pristine beach. As COVID-19 restrictions have eased, people have been getting out more – and that means more picnics, more late-night outdoor celebrations, more weekend getaways. The family spent several hours cleaning up the debris, which included melted plastic bottles and bags, smashed glass bottles, fishing lines and even a gas cooker with canisters.
After a long weekend, a family in Tasmania emerged to find the remnants of people's holidays strewn across their beach. We're all excited to be able to get back 'into it' after months of lockdown and restrictions. However, we need to be mindful of our impact on the environment. The month of May saw drastic improvements in pollution levels, with skies over Beijing clearing and wildlife returning to the canals in Venice. Street-side littering has reduced due to everyone staying inside. We need to try to keep it that way. Yes, airplanes will take to the skies again, which means the air quality will probably reduce. Yes, tourists will return to areas in the world that have become cleaner in their absence. But let's do what we can – and one simple way to help our environment, especially in the immediate aftermath of COVID-19, is to be aware of littering and other forms of plastic pollution.
Awareness of plastic cannot start and end with Plastic Free July. How will you help the fight against plastic in the COVID-19 aftermath? This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Plastic Free July. Are you currently participating in it? Do you know someone who is? Are you reducing your plastic consumption even a little bit, even if you are not officially registered for the challenge? Every little bit helps. But our plastic awareness can't start and end with Plastic Free July. Yes, we're (hopefully) on our way out of a global health and economic crisis. Yes, we need to do what we can to get through the consequences of it. But the environmental crisis did not put itself on pause during COVID-19. Let's use the lessons from the past few months to deal with this ongoing crisis as well.
For more information about the littering in Tasmania, see here. Read about the difference between bioplastics and conventional plastics and how Australian cafe owners are being supported during this time, on our blog. To read more about Plastic Free July, see here.
Planet Friendly Packaging acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which we work. Our thoughts go out to all those affected by COVID-19. Stay safe.