The ocean is expected to contain 1 ton of plastic for every 3 tons of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (in terms of weight), according to a report by the World Economic Forum.
Nowadays, plastics are found in every aspect of our life, but unfortunately almost 1/3 of all plastic produced ends up into the environment – mainly the oceans -, according to the report of WEF titled ‘The New Plastics Economy – Rethinking the future of plastics’, published in 2016
Some figures :
- 95% of plastic packaging is thrown after only one use
- only 14% of plastic is recycled, the rest ends up in landfills and in the environment (40% and 32% respectively), with a small percentage of 14% being processed through incineration.
- 8 million tons of plastic (1 full truck per minute) ends up in our oceans each year. At this rate this will grow to 2 trucks per minute by 2030, and 4 trucks per minute by 2050!
- The ratio of plastics to fish in 2014 was 1:5, but it is estimated to become 1:3 by 2025 and by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish.
- In 2014, the plastic production accounts for 6% of global oil production and 1% of the global carbon budget, but it is estimated that it will account for 20% and 15% respectively by 2050.
What is needed is that everyone starts acting in the direction of minimizing plastics use. Limit single-use packaging to a minimum, use reusable packaging, recycle more, drastically reduce leakage into natural systems, create an effective after-use plastics economy and decouple plastics from fossil feedstocks are some initiatives that public and private sector should take straight away.
What can you do to cut down on your single use plastic ?
🐟 Bring reusable grocery bags with you (always keep one foldable bag in your handbag for unexpected shopping) and go to shops where you can use your own reusable bags. More and more shops over the possibility to buy certain products in bulk (pasta, rice, cereals, etc)
🐟 Carry a reusable mug or water bottle with you, for work, when you are in meetings, when you are travelling or just wondering around. For on the go coffees present your reusable mug, very often you can even get a discount on your drink (do not get fooled by recycable cups that have a plastic coating inside the cup). If you do not like tap water, just put a bamboo charcoal in your water bottle to purify and mineralise the tap water you can take from any reliable water source.
🐟 Cut down on plastic bottles and filters. Did you know that plastic water bottles contain a lot of nano plastics and so it is probably better to just drink tap water ? If you do not like tap water and what to make sure no impurities stay in your tap water, use alternative 100% natural solutions like charcoal.
🐟 Skip straws, you can just sip your drink directly form the cup, or bring your own metal straw.
🐟 Refuse any cutlery when you buy food to go. Make sure you have some metal ones in your office that you can just wash