Over the past 12 months alone, different countries across the world have taken it upon themselves to restrict the sale, use and manufacture of day-to-day plastics. And there are more plans in the works.
Supermarkets without plastic?
Under proposals put forward at the beginning of 2018, British Prime Minister Theresa May says she is hoping to eradicate avoidable plastic by 2042. Her outline plan to create a "cleaner, greener Britain" includes a suggestion to encourage supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles.
Attitudes towards plastic bags are changing across Europe. Governments in many countries including Luxembourg and Denmark have slapped a tax on single use carriers, while individual supermarkets in Germany are increasingly removing them from their shelves in favor of more durable reusable alternatives.
A step beyond
Kenya went a step further in August 2017, when it made it illegal to produce, sell or use plastic bags in the country. At the time it came into force, the nation was estimated to be using some 24 million bags a month. Anyone violating the restrictions faces up to four years in prison or a fine of €31,616 ($38,000). Those landing in Kenya with duty-free plastic bags have to leave them at the airport.
All wrapped up in …
Zimbabwe has also made changes to its packaging policies. It has outlawed styrofoam containers for fast food in order to create space for more environmentally-friendly alternatives such as paper or corn-based containers. Ahead of implementation, snack bar owners were encouraged to offer their customers a place to sit in and eat.
Clean ears without dirty beaches
The Scottish government has announced plans to outlaw both the sale and manufacture of plastic-stemmed cotton ear buds, which all too often are flushed down the toilet and end up in the sea. Alternatives made entirely from biodegradable materials would still be allowed.