Plastics and plastic packaging are an integral and important part of the global economy. Plastic bags production has surged over the past 50 years, from 15 million tonnes in 1964 to 311 million tonnes in 2014, and is expected to double again over the next 20 years.
Each year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean – which is equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. If no action is taken, this is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050.
As per researcher at Nat Geo, there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic bags microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. In a business-as-usual scenario, the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (i.e., around 937 million tones to 895 million tones by weight). So, for now, that contributes 90% of ocean trash.
Plastic bags are killing billions everyday
1 million sea birds and 100000 marine mammals are estimated to be killed by plastic bags in the ocean.
Plastic ingestion by marine life has increased to more than 30% in half of the aquatic life, that’s what scientist saw.
Seriously, the system needs to change. Yes, there are people working on it. There are companies who tasked themselves to throw large nets and collect the debris from ocean beds. There is researcher found a moth called wax moth which can digest plastics. They can convert polyethylene to ethylene glycol which is an organic compound. But this is yet to make any progress in large scale so called at an industrial level.
These plastic bags can be recycled. The Great Britain, they recycled 54% of their plastic. When it comes to the world, it is only 14%. And 2% accounts for the reuse of plastic which is pretty low in comparison to what we use today.
Plastic normally takes 100 years to degrade. 100 Wax moth can biodegrade 92 mg of polythene in 12 hrs. Impressive! But this moth won’t help if we don’t help ourself to get rid of plastic. This needs a collective effort. As a good consumer what is asked of us is to reduce the use of plastic. Try to reuse it as long as possible.
The world seriously needs us. If this plastic bags production goes by trend then by 2030 the world will experience a rise of 2 degrees in temperature.
When we know, its consequences then why not take a collective step together for a better living and a better world.