Another year, another climate record broken. But the question is: What’s really happening to our planet?
The problem seems to be much more serious since people who have power over environmental policies and more -such as Donald Trump- have shown how clueless they are about the issues surrounding the environment and our planet.
I’m sitting here thinking where to start since, there are hundreds of things surrounding the issue… but lets talk plastic!
Billions of tons of plastic have been produced over the past decades, and many of them have become trash and litter proving we are not even close to being sustainable. National Geographic recent study revealed that as much as 91% of plastic isn’t being recycled.
Estimates predict that by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight.
Plastic is not degradable yet it’s produced in millions of tons in a year; lots of products unfortunately end up in the sea and are broken into smaller pieces which are often mistakenly consumed by marine life at the bottom as food and enter our food chain. The impact of plastic on the environment and human health is very likely to be a much worse problem than it is currently estimated and understood.
Even though, until recently, we have managed not to dominate the oceans with our lifestyle, Adam Nicolson in his new book ‘The Seabird’s Cry’, describes the incredible resilience of seabirds and how they adapt over time to survive and navigate the oceans. Recent studies show that the species who ‘’smell their way across the globe’’ numbers have plummeted dramatically over the past 60 years, and mankind is called out for their conservation.
After the video of the turtle with a straw in its nose went viral on social media, plastic became a topic of discussion on most news agencies and among many social media platforms. Many environmental tests have further been conducted to find out how much marine life is affected by the increasing threat: human addiction to plastic.
Unfortunately, almost all kinds of marine species from small fish to seagulls have ingested litter. Even in small quantities, waste especially plastic can be deadly for them. Scientists who further investigated the growing crisis proved that it can also be seen inside species and their terrestrial habitats.
But how do you control the ongoing mass production of plastic which began just six decades ago and has accelerated so rapidly that it has created a massive pile of 8.3 million metric tons?
With most of it in disposable items which are used for minutes and end up as trash, National Geographic estimates that as much as 91% of plastic isn’t being recycled, but littering the earth.
The consequences from the millions of tonnes of debris floating in our oceans, are a serious threat to wildlife and humans since the water pollution levels are rising and will deteriorate if the mass production and consumption continues.
While marine life has faced rates of extinction within only one human generation, we must look responsibly for more sustainable means and products to reassure a good quality of life on earth for us and the upcoming generations.
Around the world, scientists are eager to make the public listen and take the matter in to their hands by changing simple life habits that can make a huge impact on the environment. All types of plastic are recyclable, but most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled. Shockingly, scientists believe that 46,000 pieces are found in every square mile of ocean.
With all this happening, I think this is a crucial moment for us, to realise what the source of the problem really is. I know many times we say to ourselves, “Will it really help if I don’t use so much plastic anymore and start using reusable products?”, but what if it actually does a difference?
I strongly believe that even the smallest effort you make will make a difference. More people should start realising, that we humans have harmed Earth with our lifestyle -and I repeat, in just a few generations- and must make everything to make sure we find more sustainable means for us and the future generations.