Plastic Waste, Where do we begin?
We are all so preoccupied cleaning and recycling plastic, that we have forgotten about the real problems with plastic waste and of how to control the use of plastic and how to manage the companies that are wrapping food, household items, and personal care products in this polluting and toxic material.
Before we can do this effectively, we must fully understand
- The worst affected areas and countries
- Types of location affected
- The worst types of products
- Who is manufacturing the products?
- Where they are manufactured?
- Who is selling the products?
- Who of us care and where?
The blame game
Without this essential information, how can we identify the culprit. A product maybe manufactured in China but is sold in America and exported to the UK. How do we penalise, tax or control, the company that makes the plastic (the manufacturer), or the company that ordered it (the buyer). Who is responsible for cleaning up the waste plastic, China the USA or the UK?
The main problem is that without data we are working blind and cannot accurately gage who is to blame and where. Even to start its such a vast task to be able to gather this data even if you could get all the counties to agree (We are looking at you the USA). The last and only time there was global collaborative cooperation was by the World Health Organisation in 1980 for Smallpox and it was by the skin of our teeth that this ever happened.
We need to fully understand the ecosystem of plastic waste and its source and resting place
- Who are the worst brands worldwide
- The worst brands in each country
- Who is responsible for their manufacture
- Where does the waste plastic end up
- The most affected location type
The global plastic epidemic is so big that it is difficult to comprehend, even the people that have a larger concern than others do not understand the true size of the problem, and come to that neither does anyone else. Which is a huge problem.
Do we really understand the real problems with plastic waste ?
“Global plastic production has topped 320 million metric tons per year. An estimated 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been produced in total since the 1950s, and recent research shows that only 9% has been actually recycled, with the remaining 80% ending up in landfills, in the oceans, and in the environment.” This is what we think, not what we know, as estimations are just that, estimations. We can generalise about the actual size of the issue, but even then, science tends to underplay these kinds of statistics. The truth is that we just don’t know!
Complicated Issue dealing with international travelled plastic waste
If the product ends up in one country when the brand is in another and there were tax penalties, then wouldn’t it be fair for that brand to pay the penalty to that country? Needless to say, it’s a complicated issue. Even so, if a formula like this could be used to solve this complex issue, it’s still a lot easier than finding the information in the first place.
To get large environmental organisations involved would normally be the only way, to create surveys area by area, but the problem is so vast that there isn’t an organisation big enough to manage this problem.
The Solution to identify the source and where the plastic pollution ends up
We can do this ourselves, with a little bit of modern whiz, social media and using mobile technology, we can get everyone involved.
We all care, we all want to do something positive, many of us don’t want to go and pick up the plastic for many reasons, this is part of being human, we’re not lazy, we just don’t have the time or sometimes ability to do that, we are all preoccupied in our day to day life.
Using the power of social media is a great start, something that we are happy using, a phone that we carry with us all the time is ideal, but to make this perfect we also need the power of persuasion in order to convince the world, that whenever they see plastic waste during their day to day routine. There are enough of us out there in every country who care more than average, we ask you to pass it on to your friends, family and get them to pass it on as well
Environmental groups will or should help a lot by taking up the baton, we can give a free copy of the App and offer a rebranded one that they can pass on to their supporters. They can help further by driving this into more localised. Worldwide organizations, national environmental groups, local groups and smaller eco friendly groups.
Individuals care and the power of a community can help clean and register the trash
These are not restricted to the first world countries, but most of the poorer nations, the people in every country care, and in some cases care more than their peers. Even the countries that have disjointed governments, even when the government itself doesn’t care. However, their people do as they are often are the ones knee-deep in the stuff, often it is these people who know that their government won’t do anything, so they must do it themselves.
It’s the individuals that care, it’s the governments that make it complicated. The public really want to try to work at base level and work at preventing the real problems with plastic waste.
If you are an environmental organization then we would like to get you involved, we can only do this by working together, so we need you supporting us. It would be the worst thing in the world if these failed because environmental groups didn’t help
Please contact your local environmental organization and tell them about us