Fight against plastic pollution.
Fight against plastic pollution.
“Fight to pollution with plastic!” - this was the motto of September 27, which marks World Sea Day, which is a part of the UN international holidays system.
Environmental organizations are seriously concerned: about 75% of plastic produced by mankind does not pass the recycling or disposal stage.
Consequently, out of 8.3 billion tons of plastic (just as much synthetic material was released into circulation during its active use), 6.3 billion tons remain to be a “dead weight” in the environment.
If you find it difficult to imagine such figures, then just think that 8.3 billion tons is equivalent in gravity to 25 thousand skyscrapers in New York or to the weight of 1 billion elephants.
Most of all, of course, goes to the seas and oceans. More than 1 million seabirds and 100 thousand marine mammals suffer from plastic annually.
The head of the Parley for the Oceans charity, Cyril Gatch, believes that there is nothing more than an interruption in the balance of the life of a huge number of sea creatures, and at the worst prediction, entire ecosystems.
The statistics provided by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) really make you wonder: 22% of whales, all species of fish and sea turtles have plastic in their bodies.
In particular, we are talking about the so-called nanoplastic, which absorbs toxic substances like a sponge. Its particles are very small, but act on the lesion when it enters the body of an animal or person.
“We are very quickly turning into a plastic planet, and if we don’t want to live in such a world, we need to reconsider how we use some materials and, in particular, plastic,” industrial ecologist Roland Geyer told the BBC during an interview for the BBC.
There are not so many solutions to the problem: it will not be possible to abandon plastic products, but to bring its processing and to automatism completely. Europe is closest to the desired result - about 60% of plastic bottles are collected and undergo processing in its territory.
The introduced deposit system for collecting empty containers plays a huge role in this - in other words, a certain amount of money is returned to customers for the purchased drink if they have handed over an empty bottle into a special automatic machine.
The principle of the strategy is quite simple: the more plastic waste will be collected and recycled or recycled, the less will be deposited in the seas, oceans or in landfills.
Norway can be considered an example of successful implementation of the technology - this country recycles up to 97% of plastic bottles produced per year.
The United States is also a serious approach to this issue - huge international companies produce products from bioplastics, which are based on such familiar substances as sugar cane, corn or potato starch.
The cornerstone that inhibits successful resolution of the problem is the absence of a garbage sorting system in many countries around the world.
The effectiveness of its presence can be seen on the example of Germany. The citizens of this country have become a habit to divide waste into different categories: paper, plastic, glass and organic. Garbage that does not fall into any of the groups belongs to the “general”, and for its removal and subsequent disposal it is necessary to incur additional expenses. You can return the batteries and mercury lamps to the reception center in any supermarket, and return the expired drugs to the pharmacies.
It is not difficult to guess that for violation of the rules entails penalties.
The importance of using a sorting system is difficult to overestimate: in addition to economic benefits (the need for new raw materials partially disappears), it significantly minimizes the environmental damage - common garbage dumped in one pile is almost impossible to recycle.
The next step is the transition from the use of plastic packaging to bio-and water-degradable. In particular, we are talking about plastic bags, which are widely used in every country. The problem is particularly acute in Asia, where paper packaging has not yet been introduced to everyday life.
Summarizing the above, I would like to note that each person is able to contribute to the preservation of natural resources and minimize the amount of waste.
To do this, it is enough to throw garbage in places strictly designated for this (do not leave it in parks, recreation areas, do not throw it into the water), give preference to goods in bio-packaging, at least partially refuse to use plastic bags (take a bag with you to go to the store ) and enter into the habit of sorting waste.
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