It's your chance to use social media platforms to call out companies and governments to take action against single-use plastics.
On 5 June 2019, the second annual One Plastic Free Day will take place, and its organizer – the UK-based activist group A Plastic Planet – wants you to participate. It's simple. You pick an item you want to see go plastic-free, snap a picture of it on your phone ("It could be your water bottle, a pair of trainers, a pen..."), and post it to social media using the hashtag #oneplasticfreeday.
This year's goal is to create "the world's biggest picture survey," as people share those pet-peeve plastic items. The hope, according to the organizers, is that it will "drive change faster in governments and big business."A Plastic Planet prides itself on having catchy, award-winning campaigns with an impressive global reach. Last year's One Plastic Free Day coincided with Earth Day and was described as "a catalyst for businesses to announce pledges in their own industry drives to turn off the plastic tap." People were urged to give up plastic for a single day, and the campaign reached millions on social media worldwide. So it's not surprising that there are high expectations for widespread involvement in this next iteration of the campaign.
This year, however, there's no mention of people giving up plastic for a day. Perhaps that's assumed? Instead the focus is on this 'picture survey' that I can't help but think seems a bit redundant. After all, isn't every photo accompanying an article on plastic pollution (and we see these every single day) a call to companies and governments to take action?
Personally, I think we need less slacktivism and more pro-activism. For example, snapping a pic of something you've bought or made to replace a disposable plastic item (i.e. shampoo bar, homemade granola bars, reusable coffee mug, clothes made of natural fibers) and posting that on social media strikes me as more useful than blaming the manufacturer of a single plastic-based item I own – and hoping enough other people call out the same company to make it pay attention.
But still, I suppose the effort doesn't hurt. Join in on June 5 because the more noise made about plastic, the better. More info at One Plastic Free Day.