Zero bag-zero waste! The 4th International Day without Plastic Bags
Plastic bags have been attracting attention this year. From the bans in Los Angeles and Manila to the taxation in Scotland, it seems that the trend is shifting to single-use plastic bags. On the Fourth International Day without Plastic Bags, celebrated in various locations from July 3 to 10, 2013, individuals and groups from all over the world organized events and issued statements in support of staying away from single-use plastic bags.
This day is jointly organized by GAIA, Zero Waste Europe and Fundació Prevenció Residus i Consum to emphasize the alternatives to disposable plastic bags and their harm to marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The event was supported by many celebrities from all over the world, including Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme; Nohra Padilla (2013 Goldman Sachs Award winner in Latin America); Anne Leonard, author of "Story of Things"; and Jeremy Irons, actor and star of the 2012 movie "Trashed".
Some groups, such as the Korea Zero Waste Movement Network in Seoul or the Eco-Waste Alliance in Manila, Philippines, gathered supporters and took to the streets with placards to share their information with passersby. Friends of the Earth organizations in several Spanish cities have carried out activities with local businesses and shoppers to replace reusable cloth bags with disposable plastic bags. Friends of the Earth Madrid branch created a model of the Pacific Garbage Belt and displayed it in the city market to remind shoppers where their single-use plastic waste will eventually go.
Protesters gathered in the Philippines, calling for an extension of the ban in the capital Manila.
The staff of "Non-Hazardous Healthcare" in the Philippines and "Friends of the Earth" in Brussels took photos with slogans and uploaded the results to the No Plastic Bag Day website or the Facebook page of the event. Many people use the event’s website and related social media sites to commit to personal action and reiterate their commitment to end the consumption of disposable plastic bags.
Environmental organizations, such as Germany's DUH and the Argentine Citizens Anti-Incineration Coalition, drafted statements calling on their governments to take action to reduce the production and disposal of plastic bags. The "Ocean Initiative" initiated by the European Surfers Foundation used this day to submit a petition to the European Commission calling for a ban on the use of single-use plastic bags throughout the European Union. So far, the petition has collected more than 10,000 signatures.
The stall owners of Barcelona's Concepció market wore campaign T-shirts to express their support.
The event uses social media to connect individuals and organizations from all over the world, and affects more than 20,000 people through Facebook and Twitter. The resulting network of supporters will be able to communicate with each other and continue to work on solving plastic pollution and waste issues throughout the year.
In the past four years, as the environmental impact of single-use plastics has become more and more visible to everyone, the scale and quality of the event have continued to expand.
This year's slogan is "Zero Bag-Zero Waste". People from all over the world chanted that there is no place for disposable plastic bags on our limited planet!