9 innovative ideas to tackle plastic pollution
We are surrounded by plastic every day, but how much do you know the facts and to what level?
Shocking Facts about plastic use (According to Plastic oceans and National Geographic):
1. We produce over 380 million tons of plastic every year;
2. Up to 50% of that is for single-use — utilized for just a few moments;
3. More than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are already floating in our oceans;
4. World plastic production has increased exponentially from 2.1 million tonnes in 1950 to 147 million in 1993 to 406 million by 2015;
5. A plastic bag has an average “working life” of 15 minutes;
6. More than 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste had been generated. Around 9 percent of that was recycled, 12 percent was incinerated, and 79 percent accumulated in landfills or environment;
7. Estimates for how long plastic endures range from 450 years to forever;
8. Some 700 species of marine animals have been reported so far to have eaten or become entangled in plastic;
9. Humans eat over 40 pounds of plastic in their lifetime.
So are glass bottles more environmentally friendly?
If the plastic bottle is the problem, then how about the glass bottles? Let’s find out:
Making new glass requires sand. And actually, we use sand more than oil (worldwide, we use 50 billion tons of sand every year.), but only certain sand can be used to make glass bottles. Besides, taking sand from the natural environment also disrupts the ecosystem.
Glass is heavier and breaks much easier. So it produces more emissions in transportation than plastic.
Most glass isn’t actually recycled. In fact, only 33 percent of waste glass is recycled in America. For colored glass, it can only be recycled and melted down with like colors.
Last but not least, glass takes one million years to decompose in the environment, perhaps even more in a landfill, according to Goingzerowaste.
The truth is we cannot leave plastic products behind in our daily life, at least not now, so how should we make them less harmful to the environment?
1. New technology Mixes old plastic bottles with the existing asphalt to create a new road surface. Each mile uses 150,000 old bottles. — Fastcompany
2. Build houses out of 100% recycled plastic: Othalo’s process involves shredding plastic waste and mixing it with other elements, including non-flammable materials, that can be used to build up to floors.
5. Bottle house: Bottles filled with sand and used to build houses in Africa.
6. A Spoon You Can Eat: Narayana Peesapathy created a tasty and nutritious edible cutlery. Made with flours of jawar (sorghum) blended with rice and wheat.
8. Compostable seaweed straws can be eaten after use: The chemical make-up of polymers in a plastic straw is much harder to break down as the chemicals are knitted closer together.
9. Plastic Eating Mushrooms: Yale University discovered a species of mushroom from the Amazon rainforest that is capable of digesting plastic.
This article was edited by the original author, without their consent should not be reproduced.