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What we must do to turn the tide on plastic pollution

Sophie Edmonds, CEO of Water Smart Foundation, responds to an EU move against single-use plastics

Colourful plastic straws




The European Union parliament has voted to ban has voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers, but Sophie Edmonds says we need to go further to tackle plastic pollution.
Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

This move by the EU (European parliament votes to ban single-use plastics, theguardian.com, 27 March), is certainly a start, but it’s not far enough to only ban certain items and increase recycling promises. We need to ban single-use plastic bottles if we are to start turning the tide on plastic in our environment, and especially the dangers of microplastics in our water supply. As there were more than 480bn plastic bottles made worldwide in 2016, it will soon be the case that stopping using single-use plastics will not be enough.

While there is technology that effectively removes plastics and microplastics from water, which we install to raise money for our causes, we cannot rely solely on “saviour” technologies. In the wake of Blue Planet there were many that seemed to appear on a weekly basis, but these are either in development or simply not ready.

We need drastic regulation, technology to assist and have them both supplemented with massive changes in attitudes to how we store, sell and transport water.
Sophie Edmonds
CEO, Water Smart Foundation

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