Plastic Paradox: Earth Day 2024

Earth day 2024's battle of planet vs. plastics

Earth Day’s 2024 theme is Planet vs. Plastics and earthday.org is calling for a 60% reduction in production of all plastics by 2040. According to the Big Village Pulse, 76% of all consumers surveyed are very concerned about the use of single-use plastics on the environment. And 81% of Gen Z is concerned about the amount of plastic that their household uses each day.


It's heartening to see a growing number of brands and companies taking proactive steps to reduce their plastic footprint. Starbucks is introducing a cold drink cup made with 20% less plastic and intends to roll out reusable cup plans in the future. Coca Cola is launching a new bottle 2.5 grams lighter, thinner and uses less plastic to manufacture. Major corporations responsible for much of the production of plastic like Dow, are making bold pledges to cut down on plastic usage, signaling a shift towards more sustainable practices. It's not just about corporate responsibility; it's about safeguarding our planet for future generations.


The oceans, once teeming with life and beauty, are now under siege from plastic pollution. Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans, wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems. Southeast Asia has become a dumping ground for imported plastic waste via “waste trafficking”, exacerbating an already dire situation. The consequences of plastic pollution are dire, including a new study that states that high levels of plastic pollution could be killing the embryos of a wide range of ocean animals. As we witness the devastating impact of plastic on our oceans, it's clear that decisive action is needed to reverse course and restore the health of our marine environments.


In response to the growing concern over plastic pollution, an increasing number of cities and countries have implemented bans on single-use plastic bags. These bans represent a significant step towards reducing plastic waste and promoting sustainable alternatives. But does sporting a reusable tote work? A new report from Environment America, notes that the 5 states and cities (NJ, VT, Philadelphia, Portland, OR and Santa Barbara, CA) that have bans have cut single-use plastic bag consumption by 6 BILLION bags per year and that adopting single-use plastic bag bans could eliminate approximately 300 single-use plastic bags per person per year.

As we commemorate Earth Day 2024, let's celebrate these efforts and advocate for further action to address the root causes of plastic pollution.