Leader comment: Plastic is uniting politicians from left to right

Plastic pollution is one reason why scientists are considering declaring a new geological epoch in Earth's 4.5-billion-year history, already dubbed the Anthropocene.

Wet wipes are a perhaps unexpected source of plastic pollution and now face a ban
Wet wipes are a perhaps unexpected source of plastic pollution and now face a ban

A layer of plastic from around 1950 will one day form a line in sedimentary rocks the world over, alongside fossils of animals lost in the biggest mass extinction event since the dinosaurs, signs of climate change and other evidence that humans have made this planet their own. Unfortunately, the science of global warming has become associated with left-wing politics to the extent that action is being delayed.

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Video: Scotland's war on plastic

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So it is a relief that plastic pollution has not been politicised. MPs and the public, whether left or right, have all started to wake up to the need for serious measures.

Theresa May has pledged to eradicate all “avoidable” plastic waste by 2042, with microbeads banned from many products and wet wipes possibly next. The Scottish Government and the EU aim to ban all single-use plastic by 2030.

With such political momentum, we might just change the world and the Anthropocene might not be quite so bad after all.