International Plastic Free Day Date in the current year: May 25, 2024

International Plastic Free Day International Plastic Free Day is observed annually on May 25. Its main goals are to raise awareness of plastic pollution and encourage people to give up single-use plastic at least for one day.

According to statistics, we produce over 380 million tons of plastic every year, and half of it is single-use, which means we throw it away after just one use. It includes beverage bottles and household cleaner packaging, food packaging, to-go packaging, beverage cups, straws and lids, and bags. Do you know that most single-use plastic bags are thrown away after less then half an hour of use, but it takes them between 100 and 500 years to degrade, depending on the type of plastic?

Less than 9% of all plastic gets recycled, and 11 million metric tons of plastic is dumped into the ocean every year, which is equivalent to one truckload per minute. Wave action, wind and sunlight break the plastic in the ocean into tiny particles called microplastics. They cause water pollution, find their way to the air and terrestrial ecosystems, and enter the food chain. Scientists have even found microplastics in human blood, though their exact health effects are yet to become known.

In other words, plastic waste causes pollution it every step of its journey and doesn’t disappear with time. It harms millions of marine organisms each year. Animals get entangled in plastic debris and end up drowning, suffocating or starving to death, consume plastics and die from poisoning or a clogged digestive tract, and suffer from long-term effects of ingesting microplastics and nanoplastics.

Plastic pollution on land hurts ecosystems and human health, threatens food safety due to releasing harmful chemicals into agricultural lands and drinking water, increases flood damage because of plastic waste clogging storm drains, impacts freshwater biodiversity, and has a long-lasting effects on human health.

International Plastic Free Day was initiated by Free the Ocean, an initiative launched in 2019 to remove plastic from the ocean one piece at a time. It aims to call attention to the amount of plastic we use every day and encourage people to avoid using single-use plastic for a day. You can observe International Plastic Free Day by joining the Plastic Free Challenge and spreading awareness on social media using the hashtags #PlasticFreeDay and #InternationalPlasticFreeDay.

Another awareness day that aims to eliminate the use of single-use plastic is Plastic Bag Free Day. Observed on July 3 each year, it is part of the broader Zero Waste and Break Free from Plastic movements.

Ideally, International Plastic Free Day and Plastic Bag Free Day are just the first step on the way to saying “No” to single-use plastic forever or at least keeping its use to a minimum. You can stop using disposable coffee cups and lids by investing in a travel mug, shop with reusable bags, pack sandwiches and snacks in silicone bags, or switch to biodegradable trash bags. Even one permanent change will reduce the amount of plastic waste you produce and make our world a better place.

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International Observances, Ecological Observances


International Plastic Free Day, international observances, environmental observances, awareness days, Free the Ocean