Disposable plastic bags
Plastic is one of the current burdens of our societies! In a more or less obviously way, it impacts all the living beings on the planet by contaminating ecosystems and health. The human beings’ ecological footprint has being becoming too much critical for the last decades. In fact, it has significant repercussions on the planet and it has changed the daily life of plants and animals. It is not great news to tell you that the planet Earth is on alert, landscapes and ecosystems are changing and living beings are in danger.
Nowadays, you can find animals dressed with plastic bags walking or swimming through wastes heaps. Did you see on Internet or social networks all the photos showing turtles eating disposable plastic bags or birds trapped in plastic piece? It has become common place due to all the tons of detritus left everywhere and it is a real trap for animals and plants.
This phenomenon has become one of the main current stakes due to its stature and all the consequences it has in living beings daily life. The press, advertisements and politicians are constantly repeating the same themes and sustainable development has become ubiquitous in our societies. Many articles and images flood our daily newspapers in order to make us aware of our extent of activity.
A critical situation
Guess how much plastic detritus are rejected today? The answer is 100 tons of plastic wastes per second threw up in seas and oceans. Can you imagine what maritime life looks like…? These wastes mainly composed of disposable plastic bags are now part of the everyday life of these animals, which cannot even make the difference: the turtles confuse them even with jellyfish! Ingestion of plastic waste has become a crucial problem in recent years, sparing no species. According to one research, “in the North Pacific, 30% of fishes have ingested plastic during their life cycle”. Another fatal cause is the suffocation and this phenomenon is more and more denounced by the press and associations. This year, a whale was found off the coast, in a critical state… normal thing after having swallowed 30 disposable plastic bags. Her stomach was blocked and the firemen had no choice to euthanize the animal. According to the scientists, it could have confused the plastic bags with squid… This species in disappearance are one of the most threatened by this pollution. It is therefore a real challenge for our societies: to act both to clean up ecosystems and to save endangered animal species.
A new continent was born
This phenomenon call out and worries scientists who speak today of a seventh continent disseminated between the North and South Pacific Ocean, the North and South Atlantic Ocean but also the Indian Ocean. It is not a normal continent but a gyre of marine debris particles. Between the Japanese and the North American coast, a subtropical whirlwind, caused the formation of a grouping of detritus and micro particles originating from plastic. Invisible on the maps and photos, this new continent has been discovered between 1985 and 1988 by the navigator Charles Moore. Following this, the sailor set up a war against plastic. As a matter of fact, the appearance of plastic has deeply modified and degraded ecosystems. Moreover, these plastics take decades to disappear!
The human beings’ role for the future
Between the pollution of the oceans, the modification of the ecosystems, the formation of plastic clusters around the Earth, Men appears as responsible but also as the potential “savior”. Indeed, it is up to us to find the solutions to repair our own mistakes. The research and development are necessary to put in place mechanisms and find the right alternatives but it also involves daily actions. It is not necessary to mention that a plastic bag should not be thrown on the public road or that the use of bio sourced materials can replace plastic. The consumption of reusable bags is therefore a gesture for the planet, avoiding the abandonment of single-use bags anywhere. To face this kind of problem, governments are implementing measures to ban the use of disposable plastic bags in favor of shopping bags or other reusable bags. We must therefore change our behavior to limit the number of tons of waste.
Let’s change our habits to make a sustainable world !