Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of months*, you will have seen that our plastic problem is hitting the headlines hard.
What’s worrying I guess, is that I was not shocked by this caption. It is nearly every day I get frustrated at the amount of excessive plastic packaging on my food (seriously why do banana’s need a bag?!); the empty bottles blowing across the car-park and the irony that those pink recycling bags are made from plastic.
According to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) the plastic in the ocean with actually outweigh the number of fish. Almost a third of all the plastic we produce leaks into the environment, and the majority ends up in our lovely oceans, where it’ll likely be eaten by animals (flashback to distressing video of the olive ridley straw incident) or form a huge plastic soup patch.
Now, there are some really good attempts at combatting this plastic problem such as the 5p charge for plastic bags now at supermarkets to try and encourage re-useable bags, the US trying to phase out plastic microbeads in soaps and body scrubs , pioneering technologies from bloody marvellous minds such as Ocean Cleanup Array and the Seabin Project and some hope in these crazy little worms that munch on Styrofoam and polystyrene.
But we are still making 20 times more plastic than we were 50 years ago, and this is set to increase. There is a need for an essential rethink for plastics, a new approach, and quick – and hopefully this report will kick start that reform into action.
*Geologists you are forgiven.