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Plastic Pollution

Plastic Pollution

 

There’s no doubt that plastic plays an important role in our daily lives, and it’s hard for us to live without plastic in daily life. From water bottles to tableware, from office supplies to daily utensils, we can see that plastic is everywhere. However, the over kind of dependability of plastic has had a huge effect on the environment. This white garbage is hard to decompose and pollutes the environment, flowing into rivers and oceans to change the ecosystem of the ocean, and even into the human food chain to cause immense harm to human beings. June 5 is World Environment Day. On 5 June 2018, the theme of UNEP(United Nations Environment Programme) focused on the danger of plastic to appeal to people to enhance their awareness of protecting the environment to decrease the use of plastic.

 

Plastic Waste

The report from the United Nations News reporter, Maoqi Lee. Since the 1950s, the speed of plastic production has been faster than any other material. Durable plastic production all over the world has gradually turned into disposable plastic production. It’s estimated that 1 million plastic beverage bottles are sold per minute worldwide and 5000 billion plastic bags are used annually. It’s a common part of daily life to use plastic to make water bottles, disposable containers, packing bags, and tableware. These disposable plastic products turn into plastic garbage in seconds.

 

Siim Kiisler, the chairman of the Policy-Making Organization in UNEP(United Nations Environment Programme), made a statement on World Environment Day to express that plastic is convenient and practical but it does huge destruction to the environment. Siim Kiisler said, “ We all know that our oceans are threatened and plastic is one of the killers. As for plastic, human beings are very bad users and managers.”.

Plastic Pollution

Plastic garbage–no matter whether in rivers, oceans, or lands, plastic can stay in the environment for centuries.  The main features to make plastic so important are its durability and degradation resistance, and these features also make it impossible to decompose completely. Most plastic products are never going to disappear and they just become smaller and smaller. Many of these tiny plastic particles are swallowed by farm animals or fishes. Finally, these animals and fishes appear on our table. Tiny plastic particles have appeared in most water areas worldwide.

 

Global recent research showed that cigarette butts– tiny plastic fibers in the filters are the most common plastic garbage in the environment. The next common types of plastic garbage are beverage bottles, bottle caps, food wrappers, grocery bags, straws, and stirrers. Most people use these products every day without considering their final treatment. From the data, only 9% of plastic is recycled, about 20% of plastic is burned, and the rest 79% of plastic is treated in landfills or flowed into the natural environment.

 

Oceans Plastic

Since the 1950s, plastic garbage has been over 8.3 billion tons and about 60% of plastic garbage ends up in landfills or in the natural environment causing huge destruction to the environment. Rivers deliver plastic garbage from land to the oceans which is the main reason to cause ocean pollution. It’s estimated that there are 8 million tons of plastic flowing into the oceans each year. Yangtze, Indus, Yellow, Sea, Nile, Ganges, Pearl, Amur, Niger, and Mekong rivers, these 10 rivers hold more than 90% of plastic garbage that ends up in the oceans. If the current trend continues, in 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans. Half of the plastic garbage in the oceans is from these 5 countries: China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. These countries have undergone fast economic development, extremely reduced poverty rates, and improved life quality for billions of people. Thus with the increasing economy and consumption, the use of plastic products has increased.

Plastic Pollution

Maybe you have heard the news in Thailand before there was a whale that died after swallowing too many plastic bags, and before it died, it spat out more than 60 plastic bags.  Such a thing happened in Norway and Spain before. Whether elephants or cattle, all animals are hard to get out from this doom. Human beings are also threatened by plastic. A non-governed organization did research on the Himalayas that showed there were tiny plastic fragments in the water resource that was named for the best quality water.

Scientists point out that 99% of plastic is made with chemicals from raw materials: oil, gas, and coal. All of them can pollute the environment and are non-renewable resources. If the current trend continues, until 2050, the plastic industry may occupy 20% of total oil consumption in the whole world.

 

This problem has been gradually noticed worldwide and governments have taken action. Many countries have continuously pushed incentives ranging from public awareness campaigns to recycling, even taxes and outright bans on certain disposable plastic products. It’s surprising that the African continent is at the forefront of the world in this aspect and most African countries are completely banning the production and use of plastic bags. In 25 African countries that have launched the prohibition of using plastic bags, over half the countries have implemented this policy.

 

On World Environment Day, the United Nations has appealed to people all over the world to take real action to solve plastic garbage in daily life. For example, appealing people go to restaurants that stop providing plastic straws, take their coffee mugs or reusable water bottles to coffee stores, shop with reusable shopping bags, and pick up plastic when they see them on a walk. Asking food suppliers to provide non-plastic packing. Pushes pressure on the local government and leads them to improve the waste arrangement in the city. Tell the local government, you support the ban on disposable plastic bags.

 

Secretary General Guterres announced as a spokesman: From the first World Environment Day, disposable plastic bottles have been abandoned in the secretary’s office. Under his leadership, the spokesman Dujarric, who used to use a plastic bottle of water in the afternoon press conference in the past, now changed to a water bottle. Guterres appealed to people all over the world to join World Environment Day and the related celebrating activities to contribute to reducing the plastic footprint on our planet.

 

Health is the basic root for our planet to prosper and be peaceful in the future. It’s our responsibility to protect our only planet, but how to do it and where should we start? It’s hard to know, therefore, the only request for this World Environment Day is to solve plastic pollution.

 

On World Environment Day, the main message is very simple: deny the use of disposable plastic. Deny to use non-reusable stuff. Working together, we can create a cleaner and more environmentally-friendly path.

 

FROM POLLUTION TO SOLUTION A GLOBAL ASSESSMENT OF MARINE LITTER AND PLASTIC POLLUTION from UNEP(United Nations Environment Programme) showed that all ecosystems from rivers to the oceans are facing a growing threat.

 

In recent years, there has been more and more plastic that dramatically flows into water ecosystems. In 2030, it’s estimated that there will be a doubling of plastic in the water ecosystem which will lead to horrible damage to human health, the global economy, and the diversity of species.

 

Plastic is not only a pollution problem but also a climate problem

The report released 10 days before the Glasgow climate conference, highlighted that plastic was also a climate problem. According to life cycle analysis, there were 1.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide from plastic in 2015 and there will rise up to 6.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide or 15% of global carbon dioxide in 2050.

 

Plastic Pollution in the Oceans

The report emphasized that plastic waste occupies 85% of ocean trash and it warns that there will be 3 times as much plastic in the oceans in 2040. It’s increased by 2.3 million to 3.7 million tons of plastic each year which means each meter of coastline will have 50kg of plastic worldwide.

 

Therefore, all the species in the oceans from plankton, shellfish, and birds, to turtles and mammals are facing a serious risk of poisoning, behavioral disturbances, starvation, and suffocation. Corals, mangroves, and seagrass beds are covered by plastic so that they cannot obtain oxygen and sunlight.

 

Toxic Decomposition

The UNEP Executive Director Inge Anderson said: the main problem of plastic is the decomposition process, for example, tiny plastic and adding chemicals, lots of which are toxic, that are dangerous for human beings, wild animals, and ecosystems.

 

The human body can be affected easily in many aspects from water that is polluted by plastic which may lead to hormonal changes, developmental disorders, reproductive abnormalities, and cancer. People can ingest plastic through seafood, beverages, and even salt. What’s more, when plastic flows into the air, it can be inhaled and penetrate the skin.

 

A Huge Influence on the Economy

Ocean trash and plastic pollution also have a huge influence on the global economy. In 2018, global plastic pollution caused a loss of at least 6 billion to 19 billion dollars from the impact of tourism, fisheries, and aquaculture (such as clean-up costs). It’s estimated that enterprises may face a financial risk of 100 billion dollars in 2040 if the government requests enterprises to follow the predicted quantity and recycled payment for waste management costs.  A lot of plastic trash also will lead to illegal domestic and international garbage treatment.

 

Comprehensive Governance

The UNEP appeals to reduce the use of plastic and encourage the transformation of plastic value. This needs next-level investment and builds a stronger and more effective examining system to make sure of the originals, scales, and fate of plastic and formulate the risk frame. Nowadays, it’s an extreme dearth of this risk frame. Ultimately, turning to recycled plastic is necessary including sustainable consumption and production, and enterprises accelerate production, adopt alternatives, and promote the awareness of consumers to achieve more responsible choices.

 

Recycled Plastic – aungcrowngreen

aungcrowngreen is a sustainable hats and garments industry, recycling plastic bottles and turning them into RPET threads that can significantly reduce plastic pollution. Not only made with recycled plastic but also with other sustainable fabrics to reduce our footprint on the planet and create a cleaner and greener world for us and our generations.

Plastic Pollution

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