A study outlining the current state of knowledge regarding the scale of marine plastic pollution in the North has acknowledged Zero Waste North West’s efforts in Derry.
The local environmental group’s campaign against the use of plastic straws was cited by Katie Threadgill in a research paper for the Northern Ireland Assembly.
In a summary of voluntary industry and local initiatives to reduce plastic waste in the marine environment Ms. Threadgill hails the ZWNW ‘Say Naw to Straws’ campaign for “encouraging people to refuse single-use straws in local bars and restaurants” and for its promotion of local waste reduction generally.
She also refers to ZWNW’s joint commissioning in 2017 of a feasibility study with Derry City and Strabane District Council, that led to the adoption of a Zero Waste Strategy by the council.
Ms. Threadgill outlines the huge extent of the growing problem of plastic pollution.
“As of 2015, 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste had been produced worldwide, of which 79 per cent had accumulated in landfills or the natural environment, including marine waters and coastal areas,” reports Ms. Threadgill.
Incredibly, unless radical action is taken, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean in just over 30 years.
“A report from the Government Office for Science in 2018 estimated that without further action, the quantity of plastic in the oceans is expected to treble in the ten years from 2015 to 2025.
“An Ellen MacArthur Foundation report from 2017, estimated that by 2025 there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish, with oceans containing more plastic than fish by mass by 2050,” she states.