10 Jul Plastic Free July
Our ocean is choking on plastic – it’s almost impossible to avoid the abundance of waste washed-up onto our shorelines.
As production continues to increase exponentially, just 5% of plastics are recycled effectively, while 40% end up in landfill and a third in fragile ecosystems, such as the world’s oceans. By the year 2050; plastic waste is predicted to outnumber fish in the sea!
But How Do Our Plastics End Up in the Middle of the Ocean?
The average European uses and disposes of more than 100kg of plastic per year; even if you live hundreds of miles from the coast – the plastic you throw away could still make it into the sea. When rubbish is transported to a landfill site, lightweight plastic is often blown away – subsequently cluttering our drains – entering rivers which lead to our oceans. The solution to this is simple; recycle!
Littering is also another contributing factor to the formation of the Pacific Ocean’s plastic ‘continent’. The street isn’t the final resting place for trash – when it rains; garbage is caught up in the surface runoff – flowing with the water as it travels over land, draining into rivers and finally; into the sea.
Here at eco WMT; we’re all aware of the monstrosities that lurk beneath our feet – feeding on the products we dispatch into our sewer pipes. Besides spawning the infamous “fatbergs” – flushing wet wipes, cotton buds and sanitary products can also contribute to ocean pollution.
Microfibres are also harmful to aquatic life and escape into the seas via our drains. Whenever we wash our clothes in the washing machine, fibres are released into the waterways – these are too small to be filtered by wastewater plants and end up being ingested by small marine species. Once eaten; they enter the food chain and affect not only the animals, but also us, upon consuming the fish.
Hope for the Future?
Despite this; there is still hope for the future. Bioplastic, made of maize or starch, could potentially replace the material that is currently constructed from petrochemicals. Companies, including LEGO, have pledged to switch to this sustainable and more environmentally-friendly, plant-based method of manufacturing by 2030.
Even though this seems like the perfect solution; in satisfying the global demand for plastic, the production of bioplastic would deplete crops valuable for food growth – therefore we must radically change our consumption behaviour!
A standard plastic bag can take up to 1000 years to decompose, while a plastic bottle more than 450 years – verses paper, which takes two to six weeks to biodegrade. The short answer is; switching to alternatives, such as paper or reusable cloth bags, could be the resolution to the planet’s plastic problem.
We also need be more considerate, recycle and watch what we flush! eco tabs’ aerobic bacteria is ideal in eradicating the fats, oils, greases and hydrocarbons dispatched into our drainage systems – sparing us of dreaded fatbergs; but, in terms of preventing further plastic pollution – the planet needs you!