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Public warned about plastic pollution

Pollution problem: island urged to cut use of plastics

An environmental charity reminded the public today of the importance of tackling plastic pollution.

Greenrock also offered suggestions to help people cut back on their plastic use as the organisation marked World Environment Day.

A spokesman said: “Plastic pollution remains a global challenge — not only in terms of the threat to wildlife but also to public health, with mounting evidence that plastic has entered the food-chain and is now in the food we eat and, often, the water we drink.

“Science is only beginning to study the potential health impacts of this.

“There is a role for consumers, businesses and the State to take action to reduce the use of single-use plastics.”

The charity said businesses could eliminate single-use plastic cups or disposable coffee bods, while restaurants could phase out or limit plastic straws.

“The same can be done for takeaway bags or introducing a charge for takeaway coffee cups in cafés.”

Greenrock also offered the following tips for reducing plastic use:

• Use a refillable water bottle;

• Bring your own lunch to work;

• Use a reusable coffee cup for hot drinks on the go;

• Don’t use lotions, shower gels, or toothpaste containing microbeads;

• Use a reusable shopping bag;

• Say no to straws or at least use a reusable or compostable one made of bamboo or paper; ?

• Make your own dinner from scratch - ready-made meals often come wrapped in plastic;

• Buy second-hand rather than brand new packaged items;

• Use bar soap - you can even get shampoo bars;

• Do a plastic free activity — read a book, tell stories, go for a nature walk! Or go pick up plastic pollution from the beach for added bonus points!

This year’s World Environment Day focused on the theme of beating plastic pollution.

The spokesman said: “Greenrock has been raising awareness about plastic pollution throughout the year, with it being the theme also for our Earth Hour celebrations earlier this year.

Additionally, we launched our ‘say no to single-use bags’ campaign in 2013, to encourage people to use reusable bags for shopping.”

The spokesman said pledges by the Government to look into introducing a charge for single-use bags and beverage container deposit legislation were “good first steps”.