Earth Day: Tackling Plastic Pollution

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22 April 2024

Earth Day has one mission: 'to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide'

Today marks Earth Day which is all about celebrating and protecting our planet. The first Earth Day was held in 1970, with the date of April 22nd. The day inspired 20 million Americans to take to the streets and demonstrate against the growth of industry and its subsequent polluting activities, which posed a significant threat to human and environmental health. Since then, the day has been used to spearhead environmental policy. By linking thousands of partners from around the globe, Earth Day encourages a worldwide effort to tackle the ongoing climate crisis.

This year, Earth Day focuses on plastic pollution, with the theme being 'Planet vs Plastics'. The organisation aims to advocate for widespread awareness of the health risks of plastic pollution, with a call to rapidly phase out single-use plastics. Plastics present a significant danger to all living creatures, creating an imbalance by disrupting delicate ecosystems. This Earth Day we are sharing what The Parks Trust are doing to help this mission and how you can support too.

What are we doing to help in Milton Keynes?

At The Parks Trust, our Cleansing Team remove as much plastic as possible from the parks. Since April 2022, the Litter Cleansing Team, the Community Rangers and our volunteers have gathered over 100 tonnes of litter and fly-tipped waste from Trust land. It is estimated that in the Autumn and Winter months, 25% of waste removed from the parks is plastic (bottles, packaging, cup lids, bags, and polystyrene). This rises to 33% of all the waste collected over Spring and Summer. Not only is the litter unsightly, but it also poses a risk to the wildlife which call our city home, particularly when it is left in our waterways, lakes, and ponds. Once the waste is collected from our land, it is sent to a local recycling centre, where it is granulated and shredded to produce a regrind material that can be used to produce new plastic products.

In addition, our Outdoor Learning Team work hard to educate young people across Milton Keynes to take care of the natural environment and share the importance of not littering. We also run regular community litter picks to get everyone involved in helping to keep the parks safe and tidy for people and wildlife.

How can you help?

Individually, we can contribute to Earth Day's goals by making minor adjustments to our daily routines. These changes not only benefit our city and planet but also enhance the environment for ourselves and all living creatures. Whether it is something as simple as taking your litter home with you, joining a litter pick or reusing plastic products, everyone can make a difference.

If you wish to further support this year's Earth Day initiative, you can find out more ways to get involved on the Earth Day website.

  • Litter in the Parks

    The cost of removing litter from across Milton Keynes' green space is enormous, it already costs us over £400,000 a year.

    Find out more...

Discover our parks

  • We have received the Green Flag Award for our entire network of parks for the seventh year in a row!
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