5th June 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day, and this year the focus is fighting plastic pollution
World Environment Day
June 5th 20203 marks 50 years since the first official World Environment Day where environmental and sustainable issues including overpopulation, global warming, and plastic pollution are given a global platform.
Did you know 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year - and half of that amount is designed to only be used once? It's estimated that between 19 - 23 million tonnes of that ends up in lakes, rivers and seas every year. With such a huge amount, it can be difficult to really appreciate just how much it is - it's approximately the weight of 2200 Eiffel Towers.
The theme for 2023 is Beat Plastic Pollution, and with stats like those it's easy to see why. This World Environment Day will show how different countries, businesses and individuals are learning to live and practice a more sustainable way of life.
Get involved - what you can do
With a few small changes, you can live a more sustainable life and reduce your carbon footprint
- BYOB - Bring Your Own Bottle
- Reduce your single-use plastic waste by investing in a refillable water bottle - an easy way to save money and help save the planet. We have plenty of water stations on campus to help keep your water bottle full and keep you hydrated
- Cofio Coffi
- Remember your reusable coffee cup - like with a refillable water bottle, you can reduce what gets sent to the landfill by using a travel cup. You might even save some money - more and more coffee shops are offering a discount to anyone who brings their own reusable cup
- It's in the Bag
- We've all been there - you're just going to 'pop in' to 'pick up some bits' and before you know it, you have a basketful of shopping - and no bag. There's not a lot you can do other than buy another bag (unless you can carry the items by hand). For the future, there are a few things you can do to remember your shopping bags, for example, you could keep a folded-up shopping bag in your handbag or backpack, and keep a stash in your car boot. Keep the bags together and put them back in the same place when you've unpacked your shopping, and if you make shopping lists - add 'bag' to the top of it
- Party Proper
- Glitter - don't do it! Did you know that glitter (yes, those tiny, shiny squares of fun) take anywhere from 20 to 500 years to biodegrade? If you really can't go without (no judgement here), you can get biodegradable glitter
- Disposable cutlery - it might be easier to get a pack of plastic knives, forks and spoons rather than have to wash up all your own cutlery after a party, but on average it takes 1000 years for disposable cutlery to biodegrade naturally. Oh, and it gets worse - due to the manufacturing, a lot of these end up as microplastics and find their way into the lives of wildlife
- Cling film - opt for foil instead
- Take a Hike
- Ok, maybe not literally a hike - more like a walk. If possible, consider ditching the car one day and walking to work or university
What we do
At your SU, we are dedicated to doing what we can to help create a better future for our planet
- You can find Root in Fulton House on Singleton campus. It's our zero-waste shop with plenty of healthy & plant-based food choices from sandwiches to chocolate to meal deals! We are very proud to be able to say that Root was the first zero-waste shop to be opened in a Welsh university
- Foodbank donations
- To limit the amount of food waste, we have foodbank donation drop-off points. You can find one in Costcutter on Singleton campus, and at Y Twyni reception on Bay campus. The food will go to our foodbank which relies on donations to function
- To encourage our students and staff to live more sustainably, Swansea University launched the SWell app in 2021. The Sustainability and Wellbeing app rewards students and staff for making healthier, greener choices. The Sustainability and Wellbeing team regularly run events - for more information on these and how to get involved, click here
- Zero Waste to Landfill
It's all about making small and manageable changes that you can stick to and making one small change at a time. For more information on World Environment Day, click here.