Poluarea cu plastic a devenit una dintre cele mai urgente probleme de mediu din lume.
Author / translator Racasanu Rodica
Poluarea cu plastic a devenit una dintre cele mai urgente probleme de mediu din lume. În creștere rapidă, cererea și producția de produse din plastic se confruntă cu incapacitatea noastră de a înțelege cum să le utilizăm pe parcursul întregului ciclu de viață și cum să ne ocupăm de deșeurile din plastic după utilizarea lor.
Deșeurile de plastic se găsesc acum în mări, oceane, sol și chiar în locurile cele mai îndepărtate și sălbatice, cum ar fi pădurile și ghețarii. Poluarea cu plastic este o amenințare pentru toate ecosistemele și în special pentru supraviețuirea biodiversității marine. Țestoasele, păsările marine și balenele mor pentru că înghit plastic în loc de hrană. Însă contrar este că plasticul poate fi o resursă genială atât timp cât este folosit cu înțelepciune cunoscând întregul său ciclu de viață. Din aceste motive, multe școli din Marea Britanie iau în considerare amenințările devenind școli „fără plastic”. Acest joc poate fi folosit pentru a ghida elevii prin problemele științifice complexe și de a face alegeri corecte.
Acțiuni politice - realizarea de acțiuni individuale de către Organizațiile caritabile de mediu care printr-o multitudine de îndrumări ghidează activitățile individuale ale Prietenilor pământului cum ar fi:
• Cum să reduceți utilizarea plasticului în: băi, bucătării
• Grădinile suferă din cauza apelor uzate
• Cum să organizezi o curățenie pe plajă - www.sas.org.uk/our-work/beach-cleans/
• Societatea pentru conservare a mării
Idei de acțiuni politice - Dezvoltarea sistemelor naționale și internaționale -Rethink Plastics - o alianţă de ONG-uri care militează pentru un viitor fără plastic. Această alianță are un început grozav:
• colaborează cu factorii de decizie europeni pentru a proiecta și a implementa politici pentru un viitor fără poluare cu plastic.
• acţiune urgentă în 3 domenii cheie: reducerea,refolosirea și o mai bună gestionare a materialelor plastice
Policy position 4
4. Idei de acțiuni politice – contextul sistemelor (1) Închideți robinetul de poluare cu plastic prin interzicerea utilizării articolelor de unică folosință, a supraambalajelor, eliminând microplasticele și oxoplastice. Prevenirea deșeurilor de plastic trebuie să fie o prioritate, reutilizarea și reciclarea lor, depozitarea sau incinerarea lor fiind o ultimă soluție. Cu stimulente economice și un cadru legislativ puternic, ne reducem amprenta.
Policy position 5
Idei de acțiuni politice – contextul sistemelor (2) Îmbunătățirea gestionării deșeurilor de plastic pentru a pune capăt depozitării deșeurilor, incinerării și scurgerilor de materiale plastice în mediu. Existența unui responsabil local pentru gestionarea deșeurilor de plastic, împuternicit de producători, comercianți și municipalități, care să realizeze colectarea maximă, reciclarea în siguranță și descurajarea utilizării plasticului virgin.
Policy position 6
Idei de acțiuni politice–contextul sistemelor. Reproiectați produsele din plastic pentru a face economia circulară să devină realitate. Faceți ca plasticul să devină durabil, reutilizabil, reciclabil, fără toxice și să aibă conținut reciclat. Este vorba de producătorii care își asumă responsabilita-tea pentru produsele pe care le pun pe piață, ecodesignul fiind extins la toate produsele plastice, ingredientele chimice fiind urmărite și eliminate
I run a mail order business. We are really busy taking online orders and sending them out to customers. They really like our plastic moulds of famous people...can you guess who is most popular at the moment. Plastic is really great because we can make our product cheaply and easily...and they last a really long time.
Some people say we should use less packaging. Maybe they are right, but we need to ship our products. If we do not use bubble wrap, our products might get damaged and then it costs us money. I know there are alternatives but they cost more and customers never like to pay more in my opinion. What can I do about it?
When I have free time I like to go down to the beach. It is so peaceful and calming to watch the sea coming onto the beach everyday...I wish my school lessons took place on the beach, even in the winter.
Over the last few years I have seen more plastic waste appearing on the beach. I did some reseach, and apparently some ships just throw their rubbish overboard...how disgusting. They carry it all onto their boat, so why can't they carry it off again when they are done. It's so unfair that my beach is being spoiled by such selfish behaviour. I've joined a local NGO to clean the beach and educate people about plastic waste.
I work as a research scientist...and yes I do wear a white lab coat. Most of my time is spent reseaching carbon molecules which are really amazing. They are the building blocks of all life and are found everywhere.
A few years ago I attended a conference where an ecologist talked about their being no waste in nature, and that in nature all the carbon molecules are constantly recycled into new plants and animals, all powered by the sun...amazing. I started to think why can't we design things in the same way and as it turns out, some scientists are already working on this. So, I now research how we can develop plastics which can be constantly remade into new things without waste and pollution. Maybe in the future plastic will be seen as a good thing not bad?
I get elected to the town council 2 years ago. There are lots of local issues I am pasionnate about including making our streets safer and cleaner for everyone. I thought that as soon as I get elected, I will be able to sart making a real difference. Turns out to be much harder than I thought. Everyone seems to disagree when we meet and it is really hard to work together. Of course everyone wants safer and cleaner streets, but will they agree how?
I made a proposal for a community clean-up team in each neighbourhood. I did some research and talked with local residents. I thought is was a great idea until at our council meeting some people objected, saying it will take jobs away from the waste disposal firm contracted to collect the bins. Why does it have to be so competitive all the time? Can't we work together for everyones benefit?
INFO CARDSISSUE CARDS
What is the problem with plastics? - Recycling issues (1)
… the problem with plastic is that most of it isn't biodegradable.
• It doesn't rot, like paper or food, so instead it can hang around in the environment for hundreds of years.
• Each year, 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced and 40% of that is single-use - plastic we'll only use once before it's binned.
• Examples of single-use plastic are carrier bags, drinks bottles and crisp packets.
What is the problem with plastics? - Recycling issues (2)
……not all plastic can be recycled.
• This might be because of the way it is made up or because it is too expensive or difficult to do.
• Some coffee cups, for example, have a waterproof plastic lining which can make them difficult to recycle.
• Every day seven million cardboard coffee cups are thrown away but only one in 400 are recycled.
What is the problem with plastics? – Climate change
Plastic is a big problem for the environment even before it pollutes rivers and oceans. Plastic is a major contributor to climate change.
That's because chemicals derived from fossil fuel production are used to make almost all plastics - more than 99% of them.
So the more plastic we make, the more of these petrochemicals we need. And the more petrochemicals we need, the higher the demand for gas, oil and even coal...driving climate change.
What is the problem with plastics? Ocean pollution (1)
• More than eight million tonnes of plastic enters the world's oceans each year and most of that escapes from land.
• It can be blown into the sea from ships and beaches, or carried there by river. Some also gets flushed down the toilet.
• Experts think that by 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean will weigh more than the amount of fish in the ocean.
What is the problem with plastics? Ocean pollution (2)
• All animals, whether they live on land or in the sea, can be hurt by plastic.
• They can get trapped in bigger items such as carrier bags or food packaging.
• Birds, fish and shellfish can mistake plastic for food when it has broken down in to smaller pieces.
• One in three sea turtles, and around 90% of seabirds, have eaten it.
• They can't digest plastic so their stomachs can become full, meaning they don't have room for actual food.
What is the problem with plastics? Ocean pollution (3)
They're created by currents in the ocean which carry the waste and bring it together.
One of the most famous is the 'Pacific Garbage Patch' between California and Hawaii.
These are known as 'trash islands' or 'garbage patches'.
What is the problem with plastics? Micro plastics (1)
Microplastic pollutants are bits of plastic less than 5mm in size.
Typically, microplastics are thought to come from a number of sources, such as:
• car tyres
• paints on buildings
• plastic pellets used to make plastic products
The risks to human and environmental health are unknown and urgently need investigating. But we do know these microplastics are escaping into the sea and potentially entering the food chain.
What is the problem with plastics? Micro plastics (2)
• Vehicle tyres are made of a mixture of synthetic materials, including different types of plastic, that shed during driving.
• They are responsible for the greatest proportion of microplastic pollution entering EU surface waters, according to a report by Eunomia for Friends of the Earth .
• Every time we wash our clothes, microplastics drain out with the water and slip through the sewage system into our waterways.
Istoria materialelor plastice
Istoria materialelor plastice
Primul plastic a fost creat cu peste 100 de ani în urmă. S-a numit bachelită și a fost inventată de chimistul belgian Leo Baekeland. Mulți cred că bachelita a fost începutul materialelor plastice de astăzi. https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/42810179
Care sunt cele mai comune tipuri de materiale plastice utilizate?
Polietilen Tereftalat (PET) - utilizat în sticle de apă și tăvi de plastic
Polietilenă de înaltă densitate (HDPE) - folosită pentru cutiile de lapte și sticlele de șampon
Polietilenă de joasă densitate (LDPE) - pungi de transport din plastic și garnituri de gunoi.
Polipropilenă (PP) - cuve de margarină și tăvi pentru mâncare gata preparată.
Recycling common plastics (1)
The 4 main plastic types have the greatest recycling demand and are easier for recycling facilities to handle than other polymers.
As it’s airtight and rigid, yet flexible, PET is the most commonly used, and particularly useful for packaging food and drinks.
Polystyrene (takeaway boxes, cups and food packaging) and PVC (food packaging and drainpipes and guttering), are technically recyclable, it's much more difficult to recycle these.
Recycling common plastics (2)
Bags that are crinkly and airtight (salad bags or crisp packets) are made of composite plastics that are almost impossible to recycle.
To stop gases escaping from them, these plastics have been developed with multiple polymers layered on top of each other.
It makes them completely airtight – ideal for storing foods that would otherwise soon go stale or wilt.
But the layers make them very hard to recycle.
The scale of plastic waste in the UK (2016) – all sectors (1)
• In that year an estimated 1.53 million tonnes of plastic waste were reported.
This was up by 24% since 2010 and 13% since 2014.
The service sector was the largest single contributor with 53%.
Households contributed just over 8%. These data are based on waste streams that are categorised as ‘plastics wastes’(only) and exclude the plastic content of other mixed waste streams such as the general ‘Households and similar wastes’ stream.
The scale of plastic waste in the UK (2016) – all sectors (2)
The coverage of UK data on plastic waste has been questioned by some organisations.
A report for WWF calculated that total plastic waste generation in the UK in 2014 was around 4.9 million tonnes
This could increase to around 6.3 million tonnes by 2030
Plastic packaging made up two-thirds of plastic waste in 2014 (3.3 million tonnes).
What happens to UK plastic waste? (1)
• 91% of plastic waste ,which was sent to treatment went to ‘recycling and other recovery’
• 9% to landfill.
• The amount of plastic waste going to landfill fell from 122,400 tonnes in 2012 to 53,400 tonnes in 2016.
A WWF-UK report calculated recycling rates for single use plastics, based on the amount of waste produced, not just the share going to treatment of any kind (landfill, recycling, incineration etc.). They estimated recycling rates of 29% for 2018 and projected a rate of 37% for 2030 based on estimates of all plastic waste. Estimated landfill rates in 2018 were 48% with 22% going to energy recovery
Plastic packaging waste - UK
The recycling/ recovery rate has increased in each year and are now more than double the minimum target of 22.5%.6. The data on the amount of packaging waste produced are industry estimates.
Eunomia (for WWF) estimates:
• The actual volume produced was around 3.5 million tonnes in 2015.
• This is more than 50% above the figure used in Government statistics for 2015- 2017.
• Around 2/3 of this waste is collected by local authorities, mainly from households.
• Their calculation includes an estimate of plastics in general household waste.
• With this estimate of waste produced the resulting recycling rate falls 23-29% in 2015.
Exports of plastic waste
• In 2019 the UK exported 0.5 million tonnes of plastic waste.
• The amount exported increased rapidly in the decade to its 2011 peak of almost 0.9 million tonnes.
• The chart shows that it has generally fallen since then.
• The 2019 level was the lowest for over a decade.
Exports of plastic waste
Much of the expansion of waste exports went to China/Hong Kong and these exports accounted for more than 80% of the total in 2005 to 2012.
They fell in importance after 2013 but were still the largest single destination in 2017 with 37% of the total.
The decision by China to ban imports of certain types of waste for recycling from 2018 saw UK exports to China fall by 97% between 2016 and 2019.
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