Is plastic really such a big problem?
Bigger than you might think! First, a few facts about plastic:
Plastic is completely artificial material. It is cheap and easy to produce and has contributed to the development of our civilization. However, at some point we greatly exaggerated with its production, forgetting about the negative impact on our environment.
How much plastic is next to us?
During 70 years, 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced, of which 6.3 billion tonnes has become waste. Only 9% was recycled, 12% was burned, and all the rest, or 79%, as you can already guess, lies around us in landfills, in ratings and probably already in every forest where a man has set foot.
An abstract number, and to illustrate it, the blue whale, the largest animal on our planet, will help us. There are only 25,000 of them in our oceans. On the other hand, if the amount of plastic waste on the globe was shaped like whales, it would be 50 million.
This amount in itself can make us change our choices when shopping, but the amount of plastic that floods the planet is not the only problem we have to deal with.
How do plastics decompose?
Most of us have probably heard that plastic decomposes on average a few hundred years, but contrary to appearances, waste that is exposed to sunlight begins its decomposition within 100 hours. In this process, it releases microplastics that ends up in the ecosystem, and then into our water and food. A 2019 study by WWF and the University of Newcastle in Australia shows that an adult eats 5 grams of plastic a week, which is as much as needed to produce a payment card.
But how does this affect our health?
Unfortunately, we do not know that yet. The World Health Organization does not have enough data to say exactly what the impact of microplastics in our food on our health. At the moment, we only know about a few harmful substances, such as BPA or phthalates, but we cannot be sure that other particles formed during the decomposition of plastic do not harm us.
Can we do something about it?
At the beginning, it is worth limiting disposable packaging. Get a thermal mug, reusable shopping bags, and a water filter. Choose everyday products in glass packaging, whenever possible. Reuse what has already been produced.
It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans. We will not change the world ourselves, but we believe that our individual actions can have an impact on people in our environment and, as a result, have an impact on those who decide about our everyday life. At Släppa, we believe that the drop matters.