ENDING SINGLE-USE PLASTICS
Updated: Jul 2
Stop plastics choking our oceans
On average people could be ingesting around 5 grams of plastic every week, which is the equivalent weight of a credit card. According to research people could be consuming on average over 100,000 micro-plastics every year. That’s approximately 21 grams a month, just over 250 grams a year.
How is this happening
Eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year. They break down into tiny bits called micro-plastics, small enough to enter our food chain, along with other types of micro-plastics like those that are released when we wash our clothes.
Our daily lives are surrounded by plastic. Imagine almost all everyday items are made of plastic and most of them are used once.
In addition to the convenience, besides the low cost, the fact is that the cost of use, especially for single use plastics or single-use plastic is very expensive.
During the first decade of the century, the world saw plastic production surpass the total in the 20th century. However, the end is so tragic that almost every year, billions of pounds of plastic end up in the ocean.
Plastic durability is so high that the US Environmental Protection Agency considers every piece of plastic created to last forever. Plastic is made from a mixture of petroleum by-products, namely liquid petroleum gas and natural gas.
Since the ocean has no physical boundaries, it is estimated that there are now 15 to 51 trillion pieces of plastic in the world's oceans from the North Pole to the South Pole and from the surface of the earth to the bottom of the ocean.
The cost of recovery is huge
The effects of plastic contamination directly on marine wildlife. Thousands of seagulls, turtles, seals and other marine mammals die every year from being ingested by plastic or trapped inside.
Plastic pollution not only threatens marine animals, but human life. Plastic floats in the sea absorb harmful pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorinated pesticides (DDT) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).
These chemicals are highly toxic and can have a chronic effect on human health, including endocrine disruption and cancerous mutation processes.
The use of plastics, especially single-use plastics is still rampant. Pollution not only threatens marine life and ecosystems, but has a negative impact on humans.
The cost of recovery is huge, so the public needs to be alerted immediately to take proactive steps to ensure that the root cause of this pollution is controlled and well managed.
Deal with the problem
Governments at all three levels - the federal, state and local - need to work together to solve the problem of plastic waste. Prohibition of use of plastic bags on business premises is possible, besides ensuring that enforcement of prohibition orders is complied with.
Initiatives to establish a bottled water deposit machine such as in Norway, could be initiated whereby depositors would be paid immediately. Recycling methods such as Sweden's that turn plastic waste into energy can be modeled, or as road pavement as in India.
The government can encourage a range of innovative efforts such as waste into wealth through the expertise of local universities and partnerships with industries that recycle plastic waste.
The 4R concepts - reduce, reuse, recycle and refuse should not be overlooked. Any effort to reduce plastic waste in any country will not be effective, unless there is a firm and integrated approach to address the issue.
Oceans Republic is partnering with several ocean cleanup organizations globally and collecting fund to remove our oceans from plastic. Also we are importing and exporting all the Eco-friendly, biodegradable, recycled products which will encourage people more to replace the single use of plastic. We really hope people try to understand and take active role and be part of this change.