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End of The Plastocene

April 22nd, 2024 in Blog

Earth Day 2024 Plastic Vs Planet

Turtle Bags began 20 years ago as a response to the plastic crisis. But what of “recycled plastic”? Should we be embracing this as the next sustainable material

The notion of recycled plastic has always made me feel uncomfortable. It is often offered up as a perfect product, has all the many beneficial properties of plastic, and it’s taking plastic out of the waste stream.

What’s not to like? It’s a tempting argument.

Today being Earth Day, it’s time to make a timely deep dig into the issues.

Ninety nine percent of all plastic is made by the oil and gas industry, and unsurprisingly  offers plastic recycling as a solution to our plastic crisis.

However, only 9% of plastic ever produced globally has ever been recycled.  Which would suggest that we are not in even in reach of a circular economy. But more than that, the plastic which is collected and recycled in Europe is exported……  half of the plastic collected for recycling is exported.

A significant share was exported to China, but they have become wise to the issue, and import restrictions mean that the export has shifted to other countries in Asia.

So our “recycled” plastic ends up a long way from home and may well reappear back in the oceans.

Governments and NGOs from around the world will gather in Ottawa to continue negotiating the terms of the United Nations Global Plastic Treaty this Earth Day, 2024.

Plastic production is set to triple by 2050 and the recyclability of plastic is part of the argument for its use. So, is the false promise of plastic recycling licensing the growth of plastic production? Is it a distraction from the reality of our toxic plastic planet.

There is a once in a lifetime opportunity being offered tomorrow, Tuesday 23 rd April 2024, that can drastically cut plastic production. So Today is the day to offer your support to this ground breaking treaty which seeks to solve the global plastic pollution.

The U.N. Plastics Treaty will be a legally binding global agreement between 175 countries that will dictate the action and timeline needed to mitigate the production and consumption of high-risk plastic.

As countries continue the negotiations, the pressure from civil society will be instrumental in ensuring that the treaty:

Includes drastic plastic production cuts.

Protect human health, human rights and the environment.

Sets accountability measures for plastic producing industries.

To show your support to Steve Barclay sign the Global Plastic petition;



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