VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A dozen environmental groups are calling on the federal government to crack down on single-use plastic products like straws, coffee cup lids, and cutlery.The organizations argue the current plastic recycling rate in Canada is only nine per cent, and some 29,000 metric tonnes of plastic litter enter our rivers, lakes, and oceans each year.“The marine debris that is piling up is absolutely staggering,” says Lily Woodbury with Surfrider Foundation Canada. “It’s the places that people don’t frequent.”Specifically, the groups are pushing the government to add any plastic generated as a waste to the Schedule 1 List of Toxic Substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999.That would allow for laws requiring the producers of such plastics to collect and recycle them, to prevent that waste from being exported to other countries, and ultimately, ban single-use plastics that aren’t collected.“We’re not saying to completely eradicate plastics, it just comes down to a better management of plastics,” Woodbury says.“We have a whole nation that is dependent on the health of the waters, so to not go forward on this would be an incredibly irresponsible decision.”Some corporations and municipalities are already moving ahead with their own single-use plastic bans. Vancouver’s plastic straw prohibition is set to take effect in April 2020.
Model, actress and UNICEF UK supporter, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, posted photos on Instagram of her journey to Cambodia’s capital yesterday to make an appeal film to be broadcast on ITV’s Soccer Aid on Sunday 8th June.Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Visits CambodiaRosie travelled with UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, to meet children living in overcrowded slum villages around the capital, Phnom Penh, who are struggling against poverty, hunger and disease.“I’ve been so inspired by the children I’ve met on my first day in Cambodia, despite the conditions they live in,” said Rosie.“It was heartbreaking to meet a mum whose baby daughter died from diarrhoea when she was just six months old because of the sewage and dirty conditions. When children get ill here, they don’t always have access to medicine or clean water to be able to get better.”“I was shocked to learn that around 50 children under the age of five die every day in Cambodia from diseases that can be easily prevented, like diarrhoea. Yet it costs so little to help save a child’s life. That’s why I’m supporting UNICEF’s vital work through Soccer Aid, and you can too. Buy a ticket to the match at Old Trafford on Sunday 8th June to be a part of Soccer Aid and help UNICEF change children’s lives all over the world.”Soccer Aid will be taking place on Sunday 8th June at Manchester’s legendary Old Trafford stadium and will broadcast live on ITV. Two star-studded squads of football legends and the world’s biggest stars will compete in an electrifying football match all in aid of UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation.Tickets are now on sale for Soccer Aid 2014, visit manutd.com/socceraid or call 0845 456 2014 (calls to this number will be charged at local rates). Go to unicef.org.uk/socceraid to find out more.
Rhys Ifans has joined Animal Defenders International to help wild animals forced to perform in circuses, slamming the outdated practice as “cruel”.His passionate declaration puts pressure on the governments of Wales and England to fulfil their pledges to ban wild animal acts. A controversial lion and tiger show barred from England over welfare failings was due to open last week in Bridgend, but was cancelled after widespread opposition.Pembrokeshire-born actor and musician Rhys Ifans, known for his role in Notting Hill, gave his support to Animal Defenders International’s Stop Circus Suffering campaign saying, “Like bear baiting, witch burning and the “Welsh not”, this cruel practice belongs in the past.”Rhys joins a host of celebrities, conservation experts, vets and wildlife experts backing Animal Defenders International’s call for legislation to prohibit wild animal circus acts. The organisation is urging members of the public to avoid animal circus shows ahead of promised laws being passed in England and Wales.Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer said “Rhys is a true star for speaking out on behalf of the lions, tigers and other wild animals who continue to suffer for entertainment. Confining these incredible animals to cages and forcing them to perform tricks serves no education or conservation purpose and must be stopped. We urge the Welsh Assembly and British Government to urgently move forward with their plans to prohibit them once and for all, and landowners not to allow these archaic acts on their land in the meantime.”‘An evening with lions and tigers’ features two lions and three tigers forced to perform tricks under the guise of education. The show was prevented from performing in England over welfare failings and is now touring Wales where regulations for wild animals in circuses do not apply. The show has sparked a public outcry, meeting with political opposition, protests and petitions as it tours.The big cats’ conditions contrast starkly to those they would enjoy in the wild. Tigers are solitary and have limited contact with their own kind in their natural environment, roaming and defending a territory which can be as large as 470 km2. Chipperfield’s tigers live in close proximity to one another and alongside lions, who they would never encounter in the wild, in a confined beastwagon which is both their travelling and living quarters.Pressure is mounting on the Welsh Assembly to end wild animal circuses. Earlier this year, a government spokesperson stated “We are pressing the UK government to deliver on the promise to legislate as soon as possible.” Support remains strong, with Welsh Labour pledging to end such acts in its election manifesto and the Welsh Conservatives committing to end the “barbaric” and “damaging” shows last month. The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones recently tweeted “We need to get to a common position with the GB nations on banning circuses with wild animals”.31 countries already have national restrictions on animal performances in place. A wild animal circus ban in England was announced in 2012 and draft legislation published the following year. Government inaction on the issue has allowed a big cat act to appear in Britain, and two circuses continue to perform with wild animals.The British public is overwhelmingly opposed to wild animal performances. Distaste for the outdated entertainment is reflected by consistently high support for a ban.An Early Day Motion to expedite the wild animal ban in England has secured cross-party support and been signed by several Welsh MPs.