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Earth Day 2024: Planet vs Plastics - A Call to Action

5 min

54 Years of Earth Day

This month marks 54 years that we’ve been observing Earth Day. The first Earth Day in 1970 was spearheaded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson in response to an accumulation of environmental events including the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969, the Cuyahoga river fire and the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Senator Nelson recruited a young activist, Denise Hayes, who would go on to scale Earth Day to the global movement it is today. 

With over a billion people observing Earth Day, it has become the largest secular celebration in the world. Key wins for our planet have occured, in part, because of the awareness spread by this global event. For example, The first Earth Day led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, and The Paris Agreement was signed on Earth Day, 2016 by the U.S. and more than 120 other countries. 

Earth Day 2024 Theme: Planet VS. Plastics

This year’s theme is “Planet vs. Plastics,” highlighting the danger plastics pose to humanity and all living creatures, disrupting the delicate balance of life on Earth. With increasing research showing how plastics threaten the wellbeing of our most vulnerable, including babies and infants, this year’s call to action is to result in “60 by 40,” a 60% reduction in plastic production by the year 2040. The way to do this is through a two-fold approach:

  • “Rapidly phase out all single use plastics, urgently push for a strong UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution, and call for an end to fast fashion.”*
  • “Investing in innovative technologies and materials to build a plastic-free world.”*

Here at Chomp, we’ve committed to do our part in the fight for our planet by reducing the negative impacts of organic waste, but we know that in order to save Mother Earth from the many challenges she faces, we need multiple creative solutions working together at once. We’re excited for this year’s theme as a call to action of planet vs. plastics, and want to take this opportunity to highlight three meaningful organizations who have been championing the fight against plastics on an industry, regulatory, and consumer level. We encourage our community to follow their work in order to stay in the know on how we are marching towards a “60 by 40” future.

plasticpollutioncoalition.org - The Plastic Pollution Coalition is a non-profit communications and advocacy organization that collaborates with an expansive global alliance of over 1,300 organizations and businesses shaping the regulatory landscape for the future of plastics. Their mission? “To create a more just, equitable, regenerative world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts.”

#breakfreefromplastic - This is a global campaign movement with over 13,000 participating members who collectively advocate to bring about systemic change by tackling plastic pollution “across the whole value chain - from extraction to disposal” (such as fighting petrochemicals, pushing for corporate accountability, promoting systemic solutions, and building zero-waste communities). “Focusing on prevention rather than cure.”

Habits of Waste - This is an organization dedicated to building campaigns designed to eliminate or reduce single use plastics in our society, specifically through consumer involvement and through culture. Their “lights, camera, plastics” campaign focuses on removing plastics from the big screen in hollywood film productions, mirroring the Hollywood campaign to reduce cigarette use on screen. Another campaign of theirs, “Cut out cutlery” successfully brought about the opt in default for food delivery apps to include cutlery for consumers.

In Summary

As we commemorate Earth Day 2024 under the theme "Planet vs Plastics," let us reaffirm our commitment to protecting the planet and safeguarding its precious resources for future generations. Check out more resources from earthday.org on how you, as an individual, can reduce your plastic footprint.

By embracing innovation, promoting sustainability, and taking collective action, we can confront the challenges of plastic pollution and build a cleaner, healthier, and more resilient planet for all. Together, we can turn the tide on plastic pollution and pave the way for a more sustainable future. From all of us at Chomp, we wish you a happy Earth Day! 

*Sources: earthday.org, plasticpollutioncoalition.org, breakfreefromplastic.org, habitsofwaste.org

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