Earthyy Bags stand for a pollution-free planet; especially free of plastic pollution. Incidentally, this year (2018) is expected to be a turning point in the way people use and think of plastic. As the EU prepares to release its first-ever strategy to curb plastic pollution now, Earthyy Bag investigates how we all can contribute to this important issue.
What is Plastic Pollution?
According to a rough estimation, more than eight million tonnes of plastic finds its way into our oceans each year which tantamount to dumping a truckload of plastic into the sea every minute. These include plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic cutlery, plastic drinking straw and sundry other disposable items. As a result an enormous plastic island has come up in the Pacific Ocean. Known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located halfway between Hawaii and California, it covers more than 600,000 square miles, and scientists predict that by 2050 our oceans would hold more plastic than fish. What’s more, our oceans are so badly polluted by plastic waste that large numbers of aquatic species such as whales are dying due to ingestion of plastic waste. Recent report revealed the death of a sperm whale that had 13 pounds of plastic in its stomach. The mammoth marine mammal had swallowed enormous amount of plastic bags, bottles and drinking cups that proved fatal, causing slow and painful death.
Ways to Curb Plastic Pollution
Pursuant to suggestions forwarded by Earthyy Bags, the following measures may be taken to curb plastic pollution to a great extent.
- Discourage Use of Throwaway Plastic Packaging – Most manufacturers and distributors of toiletries and takeaway food items, in a bid to cut cost and shorten packaging paraphernalia tend to use throwaway plastic packaging that are immediately discarded as soon as they change hands. Also known as ‘blister packaging’ these are removed and thrown out the moment the stuffs are put to use or are ready to be consumed. However, the resultant effect boils down to the plastic cover finding way as landfill or worse still, being swept into the sea, adding more substance to the already growing plastic island. By discouraging the use of such throwaway plastic packaging you can put a halt to plastic pollution.
- Say No to Plastic Water Bottle -Sales and consumption of bottled water have skyrocketed in recent years all over our lonely planet. From 1988 to 2002, the sales of bottled water have more than quadrupled to over 131 million cubic meters annually (BMC 2003). Bottled water sales worldwide are increasing at 10 percent per year. However, the other side of the picture tells a gruesome story. Millions of throwaway bottles are clogging our drainage system, resulting in floods, while degradation of plastic water bottle leads to the release of harmful chemicals. The only answer to this problem lies in banning the use of plastic water bottles. Nevertheless, you can use stainless steel water bottle to carry drinking water while you are on the go.
- Say No to Use of Plastic Bag for Carrying Grocery – Bring reusable cotton or jute bag instead. Of course, single-use plastic bag have already been banned in most countries. In the event of your living in a country where it has not yet been debarred, you can always bring your own bag to serve the purpose. This way you can contribute towards curbing plastic pollution.
- Boycott Microbeads -Those little plastic scrubbers found in so many beauty products such as in facial scrubs, toothpaste, body washes—might look harmless, but their tiny size allows them to slip through water-treatment plants. Regrettably, they also look just like food to some marine animals. Opt for products with natural exfoliants, like oatmeal or salt, instead.
- Insist More on Recycling - As it looks like, we’re not doing a great job of it. For instance, less than 14 percent of plastic packaging is recycled. Bewildered about what can and can’t go in the bin? Check out the number on the bottom of the container. Most beverage and liquid cleaner bottles will be #1 (PET), which is commonly accepted by most curbside recycling companies. Containers marked #2 (HDPE; typically slightly heavier-duty bottles for milk, juice, and laundry detergent) and #5 (PP; plastic cutlery, yogurt and margarine tubs, ketchup bottles) are also recyclable in some areas.