Today I want to bring your attention to the issue of Plastic… one of the most ignored problems of our generation. So What is plastic? Is it a chemical? A useful resource, pollution, a material? Or is it just an everyday item that has become normal for us? But what do we actually know about it? Can our generation survive without plastic? Or have we become so addicted to it that we find unexplainable excuses to keep producing an enormous amount of plastic every day. So how did we manage to get ourselves in this mess? How did this all begin? Plastic was first made from organic cellulose in 1862 by Alexander Parkes, he demonstrated Parkesine which could be heated, molded then cooled to keep its form. In the 1960’s plastic became very popular and very quickly became very useful and was every manufactures need for their product. The demand for plastic is constantly growing and so is the amount being produced but the amount being washed into our oceans and seas is not decreasing, it’s only increasing and it’s getting worse. Plastic is a huge topic and affects so many aspects of the world and our lives but more specifically today I want to focus on how it affects the marine life and look at the perspectives of environmentalists and manufacturers as well as fishermen. Have you ever thought about where your plastic actually ends up? Or what effects it has on our environment? When you throw a plastic bottle out your window or even if you put it in the been, that bottle that you bought isn’t gone, it’s going to end up in either the landfill or the ocean. Now either way that’s not good for the environment is it? If it goes to sea then a bird or a fish or some form of living organisms could end up digesting it, or it could end up floating at the top of the surface adding to the other thousands of plastic bottles in the ocean, although if the bottle ends up in the landfill there is a high chance that some living organism will digest it or it will add to the thousandths of other plastic bottles in the ground. So either way it’s not being disposed of properly and it’s impacting the environment negatively. But then there is recycling… which is such a great idea but 91% of plastic is NOT recycled for example 899 tonnes of plastic PET bottles were recycled, but more than double that wasn’t. This leads me to our households and the amount of waste we produce, more than 60% of what we put in our bin can be recycled but isn’t that is around 40kg’s of recycled plastic being thrown away in the average household yearly. If these recyclable plastics didn’t end up in the ocean, we could save 60% of the energy that is put into manufacturing these plastic items and save the marine life. In a 2006 report, Greenpeace stated that at least 267 different animal species are known to have suffered from entanglement and ingestion of plastic debris. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, plastic debris kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually, as well as millions of birds and fishes, And this is all because of us. Humans. For example look at this (picture) whale that was found dead after it had swallowed around 29 kilograms of plastic. It was killed by a gastric shock to its stomach and intestines due to the debris consumed.
Everyone has different perspectives on this global issue and Greenpeace is a worldwide environmental organization that uses a “non-violent creative action to pave the way towards a greener, more peaceful world, and to confront the systems that threaten our environment.” From a report written last year, they wrote that “humanity’s footprint is very clear,” and that the Antarctic is not just wilderness as we may think or have seen on the television. This organization along with many others and individuals wants to make a positive difference in our consumption of plastic and the out of hand pollution produced. Take the information form an environmentalist, his perspective is that “Plastic is not a bad material…it saves lives in hospitals. If used for the right application it’s wonderful for our civilization, but using a material that is designed to last forever for single-use, throwaway products is nonsense,” he says. In my opinion, I totally agree, plastic is so useful and makes our lives easier but I think that we do need to rethink how we use it and how we dispose of it because if we don’t, the generations to come won’t have a home or place to live in. However the manufacturer’s perspective is a wide range, some think it’s not their problem how consumers dispose of their product, meanwhile, lots of companies are planning to change the way their product is sold weather that’s reducing the amount of plastic in their product or making their products recyclable and more sustainable. For insistence, Mcdonalds has spoken out and has said that they want to be “part of the solution, not the problem” by making their packaging worldwide more sustainable by 2025. This means that all straws, bags, packaging, and cups will come from recyclable or renewable resources. This is just one of many companies that have signed to help reduce plastic waste, other companies include Nestle, Countdown, Loreal, Coca-Cola, New Zealand Post, and many others.
(notes)Teach kids about plastic what it does and educate them about the impact because they are the ones that will be affected, more people need to be aware and educated, we proved that we can live without we survived for ….. Years
Imagine if u were one the people that lived in a village with plastic and litter everywhere how would u feel? We are lucky to live here but is it really fair that we get to experience such a beautiful environment meanwhile there are people suffering from our pollution somewhere else in the world?
The primary issue that influences our marine life and ocean health is the extensive production of plastic. The large-scale extent to which “plastic” is being used for almost anything, is spoiling our clean oceans and creating a sea of unobtainable waste. The perspectives of environmentalists and manufacturers influence how each of you (audience) embrace this issue. Single-use plastic or cardboard items such as coffee cups, juice bottles, and straws are some of the largest contributors to the well-being of our ocean.