How did we get to this point?
We will see what we are allowing to happen when we choose to acknowledge the truth. Plastic pollution is slowly killing our planet. We started using plastic in a time when our population stood at a quarter of what it is today. Plastic eventually replaced many robust materials that would have lasted much longer than their plastic replacements. In the last century, the production of plastic has got completely out of hand. We now produce over 300 million tons of it annually and less than 10% of this plastic is recycled.
This planet and life as we know it cannot withstand much more of our destructive behavior. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch which lies between Hawaii and California is evidence of our disregard for Mother Earth. This floating island of plastic pollution is said to be the size of Texas. This garbage patch has an estimated weight of 79000 metric tons.
There are more of these garbage patches floating in our oceans. One of them in the Indian Ocean is covering an area of 5 million square kilometers. By the year 2050, the marine debris is expected to triple. The fishing industry is one of the biggest culprits in polluting our oceans. Most of the waste is fishing gear and nets. Is it too late, or can we fix this thing?
Plastic pollution in our oceans take the lives of over 100 million marine animals each year. This alone should be reason enough to stop us in our tracks.
Can we fix this?
I wonder why it takes so long for the government to intervene and bring an end to the use of fossil fuels. The only possible reason for the delay in governments taking action is money. These psychopaths have no care for Earth or her inhabitants. This is no conspiracy theory, just look around at the devastation. People and animals are the least of their concern.
Plastic pollution can only be contained or controlled by means of a global effort. We need to take responsibility for our actions. It is no use blaming or relying on corrupt politicians to correct a problem that they are financially benefitting from. It is up to us to stop purchasing products made from non-renewable resources. A great way to help is to volunteer at a local beach or river clean up.
Light at the end of the tunnel
I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel. An organization, Ocean Cleanup has set out to tackle the job of removing the Pacific Garbage Patch, at a cost of $ 32 M. If they are successful, we can apply similar techniques in other areas of the ocean.
There is the talk of using plastic waste and marine debris in repairing roads. This method apparently works very well and is superior to the use of asphalt. Repairing roads with used plastic waste is a huge step forward in combating this massive problem. Plastic pollution can be collected and put to good use. This is not easy, nor cheap. However, it can be done.
There are always alternatives. Stop buying plastic water bottles. Glass bottles are a far better option. Refuse plastic bags and rather get reusable shopping bags. Insist on cornstarch, biodegradable packaging for your fruit and veg, which is readily available and cheap. Plastic additives like prodegradant concentrates promote oxidation. This means they break down the plastic enough for microorganisms to consume them, eventually turning into carbon dioxide. Another exciting alternative to polystyrene is nanowood which will hopefully stop the production of styrofoam.
We can replace nearly every product we use with reusable, renewable or sustainable materials. Companies and ethical online shopping malls like vhawker.com are providing the consumer with a wide variety of options.
There is simply no excuse for any of us to continue contributing to the senseless suffering of marine wildlife. Most forms of plastic are toxic and will only lead to disease and poisoning of eco-systems. Chlorinated plastic can seep through the soil into the groundwater, affecting all who drink from it. There is so much that can go wrong if we continue along this path of madness. But let’s take a stand and turn this thing around.
I hope this article has some kind of impact on the reader and will help bring about change. Please sign up to get access to similar articles and promotions on capetrader.net
Robert [ aka Cape Trader ]