Our Environment

A Plastic Ocean?

Our beautiful oceans and seas are being choked by our consumptions of plastics. It washes up on our shores and poisons marine flora and fauna. Find out more about the endless threat to our planet caused by plastics

About 90% of the world’s seabirds are likely to have plastic in their guts; 300 species of marine animals eat or get caught in plastic litter. The ‘great Pacific garbage patch’ is the size of Texas extending 6 meters down and containing about 3.5 million tons of trash. Studies show that not one square mile of ocean surface anywhere on Earth is free of plastic. Why? Because plastic never goes away. Every single piece of plastic ever made still exists.

In the first decade of last century, there was a boom in plastic use given its relatively low cost, ease of production, and versatility. If we think about it, we are surrounded by it as it has replaced many traditional materials like wood. This success has led to many serious environmental problems worldwide due to its slow decomposition rate after discarded. Sadly, more than 40 years have passed since the introduction of the universal symbol of recycling, but only 14% of plastic packaging is recycled.

We do a terrible job of making sure plastic products are reused, recycled or properly disposed of. Studies say that about a third of all plastics produced escape collection systems ending up in the sea. If we keep producing and failing to properly dispose of plastics at today’s rates, plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean within the next 20 years.

What to do? Many things can be done to lessen our impact on our only home. Visit wwf.panda.org/who_we_are/wwf_offices/armenia/help_us/eco_help_living for tips on reducing your impact on the environment. Overconsumption and overuse of plastic are some of the problems, so Reduce, Reuse and Recycle can be an easy path to help. The key is to become conscious of our habits:

  • Reduce by limiting the number of purchases (rethink before you buy).
  • Reuse by using items as much as possible before discarding them (rethink before you throw away).
  • Recycle by ensuring that items or their components are put to some new use (rethink what can be recovered).

Interested in The New Plastics Economy? Check: www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_New_Plastics_Economy.pdf.

Importantly, Playa del Carmen does have recycling programs! There is really no excuse, check Facebook/Medio Ambiente Solidaridad. 

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