surfers beach coolangatta australia
environment

Plastic Waste in Your Environment

The Lake near my home

Every day my daily walk takes me to the lake, usually with the resident Schnauzer in tow.

Who me? She says

It is a beautiful walk and the developer and Council maintain the street and pathways to a high standard. They want to sell the remaining blocks of vacant land, I guess.

What is very disappointing is that, each and every day, I find some plastic washed up by the shore of the lake.

trash plastic rubbish

Each day, I hope to find a clean and clear shoreline. Predominantly, I find plastic wrap for packs of single use plastic water bottles and plastic packets for food floating on the water or washed up on the rocks.

Each day, I remove this plastic and dispose of it in the rubbish bin; it’s just a few steps away.

In this small corner of the world, on just one corner of the lake’s shoreline, I am removing 2 – 10 pieces of plastic rubbish each and every day. So, let’s put that in a global context:

“Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.” (EACH YEAR!)

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/plastic-pollution/

Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues, as rapidly increasing production of disposable plastic products overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them.

Single-use plastics account for 40 percent of the plastic produced every year. Many of these products, such as plastic bags and food wrappers, have a lifespan of mere minutes to hours, yet they may persist in the environment for hundreds of years.

Some plastic contain additives to make them stronger and in doing so, extends their life meaning they will take up to 400 years to break down. At the rate plastic is being produced, we will be drowning in plastic, in 400 years.

Plastics – Key Facts

  • Half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the last 15 years.
  • Production increased exponentially, from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015. Production is expected to double by 2050.
  • Trash is also carried to sea by major rivers, which act as conveyor belts, picking up more and more trash as they move downstream. Once at sea, much of the plastic trash remains in coastal waters. But once caught up in ocean currents, it can be transported around the world.

More about plastic-pollution

We urgently need to reduce or eliminate our use of plastic.

Long-term effects of Plastic Pollution

  • It upsets the Food Chain
  • Marine animals mistakenly ingest plastics (Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish)
  • Creates Pollution of waterways from chemicals entering ground water
  • Land Pollution from Landfill
  • Expels air pollitspollutathe manufacturing process
  • It Kills Animals – seabirds and fish get caught inside or around it
  • It is Poisonous – to humans and animals
  • It is Expensive – it costs more to produce than a reusable natural bag

I will be keeping a count of the days without plastic.

How You Can Help

  • Responsibly dispose of plastic pollution when you find it in your local area
  • Say No to Plastic bags from shops
  • Use re-useable cloth or string bags
  • Refuse products with excess packaging
  • Ask if the packaging is reuseable PRIOR to purchase- especially with take away food, smoothies, coffees and drinks, so that business owners try to be more selective in their product choice
  • Carry a refillable drink or coffee flask and reusable straws
  • Don’t buy bottled water – or drinks in plastic bottles – preference glass containers where possible
  • Be responsible with your own rubbish when out and about

japan

In Japan, I never saw a single item of rubbish in the streets. The Japanese are very conscious of taking their own rubbish away with them.

If the Japanese can do it with their mega population, we can do it too.

Let’s change the culture of plastic reliance everywhere!

Update: Linking to Debbie’s One Word Sunday Plastic post

38 thoughts on “Plastic Waste in Your Environment”

  1. Amanda, I am glad you posted this because I am also a plastic hater and in my home we avoid single use plastic as much as possible.

    I am constantly shocked at all the plastic waste around me. But the sad fact is that most people don”t care very much. It will take governments and legislation to force businesses and people to stop all the madness.

    Keep up your good work, Amanda. I also used to clear the discarded plastic from my neighbourhood when I was living in Kathmandu.

    Best wishes from Dai

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dai
      It is sad to think that Kathmandu has a plastic problem, Dai! I am so sorry to hear that. I hope they don’t burn it – think of the toxic fumes!
      Well done to you being another environmental supporter.
      And it is so great to hear from you again. I checked your blog some time back however it wasn’t active so I guessed that you must be so busy with the guests? I did hope all was okay with your health.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amanda, we had to burn it because the alternative was to bury it which seemed to be worse. In those days our suburb had no garbage collection at all so disposing of waste was a nightmare. Nowadays there is some sort of garbage collection but I always worried about how they disposed of it. We disposed of all bio waste by digging it into somebody’s garden. Unfortunately here where we live in Portugal, we have nowhere to dispose of our bio waste. At least not yet. We have very little waste because we cook everything from scratch so no instant food wrappings here. But I do resent all the non-essential plastic wrappings of things.

        Yes, I was also really impressed by the hygiene at the shrines in Japan.

        I had a lot of eye strain and red eyes so I had to stop much of my online activity. Much better now but I am careful and don’t spend too much time on my laptop.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good to hear that your eyes are better. Sounds like you will have to limit your screen time, as we all should too!!
        Us humans accumulate so much waste compared to other species!! Ironic that you can’t dispose of bio waste in Portugal. Can you have a compost bin in the garden?

        Like

  2. While riding along the esplanade on Bribie Island, I discovered a sea turtle. It was an adult and the island’s wildlife expert said the turtle had a clean carapace. A clean carapace means the creature was once healthy. It swallowed a plastic bag and now lay dead on the foreshore. Bribie Island is a mecca for tourists. In the six years I’ve lived here, it has grown in popularity to challenge existing infrastructure. The island is a reserve with around one-fifth open to permanent populations. The waters of Moreton Bay are rated at -A, which high and a credit to those living there. The environment is a delicate balance. Leaving a plastic bait bag behind after a day’s fishing can cause untold destruction. To see evidence click here and scroll through the pictures.
    https://ajhenryblog.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment. It is a sad indictment that a turtle – such a grand creature can die from a bait bag!! I wish the fishermen would wrap the bait in newspaper/butchers paper, for goodness sake. I often pull bait bags out of Newport Lake!!
      I have heard that Bribie is very busy now. We have some Bribie “refugees” in our street who wanted a quieter retirement. The weekend traffic getting there is a nightmare and we don’t visit for that reason anymore. Now we live in a place where I can crane my neck and see Bribie from my balcony. I’ll wave to you!! Lol! How long have you been active in the blogosphere?

      Like

  3. I think this is something very cultural… I don’t know why, but every time I went hiking in Ireland or Spain, there’s always plastic and cans everywhere…. Here in Switzerland, the recycling culture is so well established that you hardly see anything in the city or the countryside (well, exceptionally you can find plastic bottles and things after a big event like concerts or parades… but cleaning services always clean everything right after the event). I don’t understand why people can bring drinks and snacks to the beach/lake/mountain/park and they can’t throw them away once consumed… is it really a harder effort than to bring it in the first place?

    Like

  4. I am very glad you raised this topic, for those of us who are already trying could sure use the support 😉 And for others, it will be one more push in the right direction 🙂
    Even the hardest of rocks will bend to the flowing river… 😉

    By the way, I am reliably informed that there are plastic-eating bacteria too… but not, unfortunately (??!) commonly found where the plastics are. 😉

    Warm greetings and best wishes for the week, dear Amanda 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Amanda! Greetings!! 🙂 🙂
        Maybe. I think you could well know as much about it as I do 😉
        But yes, there is ongoing research. I just happened to remember an article I skimmed a while back. Let’s see if I can find it…
        Ah, yes! 🙂
        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/16/scientists-accidentally-create-mutant-enzyme-that-eats-plastic-bottles
        https://www.popsci.com/plastic-eating-bacteria/

        Honestly, I am not at all clear on why they just don’t multiply and eat everything? Maybe they are very slow?? But there may be hope for a more-or-less plastic-free future… 😉

        Like

    1. Sorry I missed responding to this comment, before this, Ju-Lyn. I could imagine Singapore being quite innovative with sustainability given that landfill must be difficult to find for such a large population? Yet you say it is not responding? Why is that?

      Like

    1. Thanks for the visits, Maddie. I actively do my best to rid my life of plastic pollution!
      It is not easy to completely eliminate it, but we can try, can’t we? Do you live near the water?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! the hudson river which is horribly polluted! I’m just very environmentally active and involved in marine biology so the ocean is very high on my care list haha

        Like

I love a good discussion. What do you have to say?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s