The Plastic Nightmare


We nonetheless have no idea simply how badly we’re polluting the world. It’s turning into extra apparent that the multi-nationals and supermarkets are solely inquisitive about income and never within the results on our surroundings and well being.

Oil is an important supply of vitality, but the inescapable fact is that it’s working out. The one query is when.

Automotive producers are all the time striving to design and produce extra environment friendly engines, however can extra be executed to cut back our dependence on oil? The reply is sure. The unlucky fact to who helps the value of oil to rise may very well be trying again at you within the mirror.

We now dwell within the throwaway society. Virtually all the things we purchase is in a plastic container resembling milk, tender drinks and water. Grocery store service luggage and black bin luggage are all comprised of plastic.

What are different International locations doing and may we study from them?

Belgium. Authorities impose a tax on all free luggage in 2007.

Denmark. Authorities imposed a levy way back to 1994. Use of plastic luggage has fallen by two thirds.

Germany. Supermarkets cost between 4p and 20p for single use luggage.

Italy and Spain. Plastic luggage have been banned since final 12 months.

India. Plastic luggage are banned. Outlets danger one months suspension of buying and selling.

Eire. A tax, now at 16pper bag, was launched in 2002. Use has dropped by 90%.

Kenya. Skinny plastic luggage banned in 2007. Heavy tax imposed on imported thicker luggage. Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania have adopted related coverage.

Switzerland. Plastic luggage value 10p.

Taiwan. Plastic luggage phased out 2003.

What are we doing? The reply is nothing. Tesco, Britain’s greatest retailer, opposes each prices and a ban for plastic luggage. Between 2006 and 2010, WRAP (Waste Assets motion Programme) was in control of monitoring bag numbers and it reported a 48 per cent fall over the 4 years. Nonetheless, Surroundings ¬≠Secretary Caroline Spelman let the monitoring regime lapse in Could. The Authorities presently has no ¬≠coverage on plastic bag discount, regardless of pledges by David Cameron and Nick Clegg when in opposition.

Miss Spelman has kicked the problem into the lengthy grass, with a ‘waste evaluate’ that won’t report till subsequent April and selections on coverage more likely to come a lot later. On the identical time, the supermarkets and their commerce physique, the British Retail Consortium, have refused to attract up any new discount targets. The BRC has admitted it has no concept what number of luggage at the moment are given out. In Could final 12 months, 475 million plastic service luggage got by our supermarkets to their clients. Lower than 1% are recycled and a lot of the relaxation find yourself in our land fill websites. They’ve a life span of about 1,000 years!

These containers and luggage are comprised of a plastic referred to as Polyethylene Terephthalate, PET for brief. It’s comprised of a mixture of pure gasoline and Petrol.

Listed below are some scary statistics:-

In 2006, 31.2Bn litres of water had been consumed in USA alone. (Pacific Inst. of America) This required over 900 tons of plastic which wanted 17.6m barrels of oil to supply.

In 1997, Captain Charles Moore on getting back from a ship race in Hawaii selected a brief in the reduction of to California alongside the sting of the North Pacific subtropical Gyre, an space usually prevented by seafarers. It is a excessive strain zone the place a number of currents converge. This brings flotsam from the coasts of South East Asia, North America, Canada and Mexico.

He found an island of plastic and flotsam twice the dimensions of Texas, or over 5 occasions the dimensions of the UK. It’s 10m deep, and 90% plastic. UN analysis has established that Navies and business transport dump 639,000 plastic containers per day in our oceans. This represents 20% of all plastic dumped in our oceans, the opposite 80% is from land.

Captain Moore has established that America alone produces 105 trillion plastic bottles per 12 months. This might eat 59Bn barrels of oil per 12 months. A barrel of oil comprises 42 US gallons, 35 Imperial gallons, (or for people who choose it, 159 litres). This equates to 2.1 Trillion imperial gallons per 12 months.

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David Hodges

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