Monday, April 16, 2018

Spain to Control Single-use Plastic

It's no secret that the sea is full of plastic. Dire warnings are found regularly on Facebook and on Sky News and indeed, in the media in general. Plastic pollution is a horrible thing, affecting both ourselves and the animals that share this planet with us. A whale was washed up on the coast in Aguilas the other day, dead, with enough plastic discovered inside it's stomach to become a serious competitor to MasterCard.
We throw our garbage out the window or out the door, in plastic bags or otherwise. We litter the campo and we leave junk on the beach. We even haul our trash to the contenador, the municipal  rubbish bin, and then leave it next to it as a sort of prize for the next person to come by.
Plastic, blowing in the wind, adorning our trees, flopping in the waves, cast aside in the ditch.
Most of this plastic is non-degradable and will be lying around somewhere for many years to come.
The plastic farms of Almería (always said to be 30,000 hectares, or 300 square kilometres of them, but more likely to be well over double this figure) use, understandably, a lot of plastic. The used, rotted stuff had always been sold to the Chinese until January this year when the trade was abruptly closed down by Beijing. What do they do with the stuff now? (Answers on a postcard).
Spain (to at least my surprise) has just bravely passed a law regarding single-use plastic. From the beginning of 2020, plastic forks and plates, cups, drinking straws and so on will neither be imported, exported or sold in Spanish territory. Plastic bags will also be controlled from that time, and will need to be biodegradable in the future.
Supermarket food wrapped in polystyrene will also be controlled.
The law was passed with the support of the PSOE, Podemos and Ciudadanos, and the Partido Popular abstaining.

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Recycling plastic? Forget it, says an article in Público. ‘We live surrounded by adverts that tell us that we have to recycle, that it is very important to throw plastics in the yellow bin so that they can have a second life and the planet becomes a better place. What no one says is that plastics are very difficult to recycle and the small percentage that is recycled becomes a poor quality and economically uneconomical plastic. As a result, much of the plastic that we produce is simply incinerated...’.


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