|“Let’s pick it up! – Naturefriends Clean-up Day”: Naturefriends committed for a cleaner environment|
12 May 2014 |
Every year, millions of tonnes of litter end up in oceans, beaches, forests and elsewhere in nature. The primary causes are our societies’ unsustainable production and consumption patterns, poor waste management strategies and lack of awareness.
With the Naturefriends Clean-up Day, Naturefriends support the Europe-wide clean-up event that takes place on 10 May 2014. Many Naturefriends actively joined the “Let’s clean up Europe” initiative around Europe to collect litter in their vicinities.
Plastic waste causes serious damage to environment and dealing with it is a serious challenge! “It not only causes massive environmental pollution and harm on the wildlife, plastic litter also spoils the aesthetics of landscapes and our local environment”, says Manfred Pils, President of Naturefriends International. As a symbol of the “throw-away” culture of our unsustainable societies, it is expected to increase if no action is taken!
At EU level, serious steps have been recently taken to deal with this growing problem. Especially, the wide consumption of single-use plastic bags is one of the main obstacles to efforts to reduce plastic waste. Every year 100 billion plastic bags are used in the EU, around 200 bags for every EU citizen ¹ . Only a small percentage of these are recycled and billions end up littering our streets, seas, lakes, rivers and countryside. On 4th November 2013, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic bags in the EU ² . This requires Member States to take measures to reduce the use of single-use and lightweight plastic bags on their territory. Following a Commission’s proposal, on 16th April, the European Parliament voted in favour of reducing the consumption of lightweight plastic bags and reducing it by 80% in the next five years with accompanied measures such as taxes and bans ³ .
Naturefriends warmly welcome these concrete efforts to reduce plastic waste in the EU and call on EU Member States to adopt this proposal and take ambitious action towards a less wasteful Europe.
Naturefriends across Europe participated and collected hundreds of kilogram waste, sensitized the population on the topic waste as well as supported the campaign with awarenessraising measures!
¹ European Commission’s Impact Assessment of different options to reduce plastic bag consumption