Thursday, April 19, 2018

Earth Day 2018- End Plastic Pollution

Sunday, April 22, 2018 is Earth Day, the 48th Earth Day. The first U.S. celebration of Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970.

This year’s theme is "End Plastic Pollution." The Earth Day network tells us that plastics are responsible for a vast array of ills from poisoning and injuring marine life, disrupting animal and human hormones, littering beaches and landscapes and clogging our waste streams and landfills, the exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet.

Plastics that we use once and discard, or single-use plastics, are a growing critical problem of global proportion. Plastics are some of the most commonly littered items in the world and they are drowning our planet. Plastics are present in furniture, construction materials, cars, appliances, electronics and countless other things. 
from "Production Use and Fate of All Plastics ever made"

In a recent scientific study published in Science Advances, lead author Roland Geyer and coauthors Jenna R. Jambeck and Lara Lavender Law estimated the amount of plastics that have been manufactured since 1950’s and determined it’s fate. The scientists found that virtually all the plastic we ever made is non-degradable and is still with us. Much of the plastic  ends up in landfills, or worn into smaller particles in the soil, in the ocean, or in our rivers, streams, lakes and estuaries.

The scientists estimated that 8,300 million metric tons of virgin plastics have been produced since the dawn of the age of plastics. As of 2015, approximately 6,300 million metric tons of plastic waste had been generated, around 9% of which had been recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment. Furthermore, they estimate that if current production and waste management trends continue, roughly 12,000 million metric tons of plastic waste will be in landfills or in the natural environment by 2050. If we do not make some changes it will not be too long until we are all knee deep in plastic waste. 
from "Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made"

In response to this every growing problem, Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to informing and inspiring us to change our attitudes and behavior about plastics.

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