GOOD

India takes a bold step for the planet by banning single-use plastics

This is what real leadership looks like.

The mass production of plastic began in the 1950s and just about every piece of it is still here. It's either still in use, sitting in a landfill or floating in the ocean.

Over 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been produced over the past 70 years and 8 million tons are dumped in the ocean annually.

"There's so much plastic in the environment at this point, it's in the water we drink, much of the food we eat and even the air we breathe," John Hocevar, marine biologist and oceans campaign director for Greenpeace USA, told ABC News.


If those numbers aren't scary enough, according to Global Citizen, the amount of plastic in the world's oceans could increase by a factor of ten in the next decade.

RELATED: Scientists discovered a mushroom that eats plastic, and believe it could clean our landfills

One way to put a dent in the amount of plastic pollution we create is to stop using single-use plastics. Which shouldn't be a problem being that paper alternatives work just as well and are biodegradable.




India is taking bold steps to reduce its plastic pollution by banning six different types of single-use plastics: plastic bags, cups, plates, small bottles, straws, and certain types of sachets.

The ban is expected to reduce the country's annual plastic consumption, an estimated 14 million tons, by about 5%.

RELATED: Horrified by how much plastic is in the ocean, this girl ramped up her recycling game

"My Government has announced that India will put an end to single use plastic in the coming years. I believe the time has come for even the world to say good-bye to single use plastic," India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, said while delivering opening remarks at the 14th session of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

The "time has come for even the world to say goodbye (to it)," the Prime Minister continued.

India is set to impose the ban on plastics by Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, October 2 in 2022.



via Vikramdeep Sudhu/Flickr


The Indian government's decision isn't surprising given its commitment to fight climate change.

In 2105, the country pledged to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide it produces by 35% and to generate 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

While India's bold new goals seem tough for a country to achieve in such a time, it's already ahead of schedule."

In terms of our commitment we are already on track. This has been officially acknowledged by the United Nations Environment, all related stakeholders and agencies. We are already achieving our goals much ahead of the deadline," Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said according to Economic Times.

To contrast India's leadership with the United States, the current president thinks climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese.


assets.rebelmouse.io

The Planet
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

Keep Reading Show less

September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Health