- Created: Thursday, 15 February 2018 15:41
- Written by Brian Henry
It sounded like a grand and radical plan, and not before time. On 11 January 2018 Prime Minister Theresa May launched a 25-year war on plastic waste, calling it ‘one of the great environmental scourges of our time’. It is, of course, a global crisis. The amount of plastic produced each year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity. 8.3bn tonnes have been produced since the 1950s, with the majority ending up in landfill or the ocean. One study warns that the plastic crisis threatens the ‘near-permanent contamination of the planet’. Plastic takes hundred of years to decompose but ‘microplastic’ particles are already contaminating our food and drinking water. Imperialist nations export the after-effects of throwaway consumerism to poor countries, where impoverished children scavenge for valuable recyclables. As Pope Francis said in 2015, ‘the earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth’. Urgent and sustained action is required. But predictably, for Britain’s part, May’s plan barely touches the surface. Brian Henry reports.