From the Field: Plastic Waste: Stop Killing Our Oceans

Date Aired: March 28

England to Ban Disposable Plastics

Now that we have looked at the impact that plastic waste has on marine life, what can we do about it? Let’s take a look at what England is doing.

Strolling down a beach in South East England…

“Here’s a glove and a PET bottle. This is a doll. I wonder what doll it is.” (Ayumu Toyoshima, Reporter)

England, which produces over 2 million tons of plastic waste annually, is facing a serious situation.

England has begun taking measures to reduce single-use plastics, such as PET bottles, plastic bags, and straws. The amount of plastic waste produced in England annually can fill up Tokyo Dome 80 times. It was the Queen of England who was the first to take measures against this issue.

Queen Elizabeth has announced the gradual ban on plastic straws in Buckingham Palace’s cafeteria. In addition, the Royal Family will ban the use of disposable plastics in its other facilities.

The town of Penzance is gaining attention as the first English town to eliminate plastic waste through its town-wide initiatives.

Rachel, who heads the initiative to eliminate the use of disposable plastics, introduced us to a cafe that did just that.

The cafe uses paper straws and sells coffee cups made out of bamboo fiber. Cafes aren’t the only ones making changes. Supermarkets stopped using plastic bags and packages. Solid soaps and shampoos line the shelves of cosmetics shops, instead of their liquid counterparts packaged in plastic bottles.

These initiatives banning plastic are starting to become widespread globally. Italy and Belgium have imposed a country-wide ban against plastic bags entirely, while USA and China have partially done the same. In Kenya, plastic bags have been banned as of last August, with a maximum sentence of 4 years imprisonment or 4.3 million JPY penalty.

Penzance’s initiatives to eliminate plastic waste has spread to over 100 municipalities within England.

Copyright© Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc./ Japan News Network