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Friday, June 22, 2018

Good morning,

A story appeared in recently which highlights a growing global problem; plastic pollution.

Today, more than 100 years after its invention, you'll find plastic where you least expect it, including the foods we eat, the water we drink and the environments in which we live. Once in the environment, it enters our food chain where, increasingly, microplastic particles are turning up in our stomachs, blood and lungs. Scientists are only beginning to study the potential health impacts.

And China has just upped the ante.

Since 1992 China has imported 106 million tons of garbage and recycling including bags, bottles, wrappers and containers, much of it plastic. But last year the country announced that it finally had enough of everybody else's junk. They are drastically reducing the garbage and recycling they will take.

Nearly four-fifths of all that plastic has been thrown into landfills or the environment. A tenth of it has been burned. Several million tons reach oceans every year, sullying beaches and poisoning vast reaches of the northern Pacific. Just 9 percent of the total plastic ever generated has been recycled.

That is why we urgently need consumers, business and governments to step up with urgent, decisive action to halt this crisis of consumption of single-use, throwaway plastics.

But can the world really give up its plastic addiction? India is going to find out.

Thanks for reading,

Your Living Green editor

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India turned their hosting of this year's World Environment Day into far more than a symbolic act when it announced plans to eliminate all single-use plastics by 2022, UN Environment reported.

The theme of this year's World Environment Day was "Beat Plastic Pollution," and India's decision could be a "game-changing" part of that effort, since it is home to 1.3 billion people and is one of the world's fastest-growing economies, head of U.N. Environment news and media Keith Weller said.

In addition to the plastics phase-out, the country also joined UN Environment's Clean Seas campaign. India will develop action plans to combat marine litter at the national and regional level and measure the total amount of plastic pollution in the waters off of India's 7,500 kilometers (approximately 4660 miles) of coastline.

Plastic pollution is a major problem in India, which generates 25,000 tonnes (approximately 27557.78 U.S. tons) of plastic waste every year and only recycles 60 percent of it.