In my previous blog on the ‘Big Picture’ I talked about the typical life cycle of a plastic bottle. It is scary to think how such an outwardly harmless object can ultimately cause such a huge problem and sometimes even end up inside humans in minute amounts!
The obvious solution is ‘re-usable’ bottles and where possible we should all use them, although where not practical there is also the simple act of placing the spent bottle, and for that matter any single use plastic, in a bin (ideally a recycling bin). This solution however becomes more complicated where bins and waste management solutions are limited and in some cases non-existent – here I talk about developing nations where the population growth and infrastructure development are often not in synch with each other. Having said this we all have an individual responsibility to do our bit (ie ‘small steps’) so do not think this is someone else’s problem.
On a more positive note I would like to bring to your attention an incredible project called The Ocean Cleanup (https://theoceancleanup.com/) where a Dutch not for profit organisation has come up with two solutions to address the issue of plastic waste in our oceans. The first solution is aiming to capture plastic that has already found its way into our oceans and the second solution is a system that tries to capture the plastic waste at source (ie in rivers). Whilst both systems are still in their test phases the results are extremely encouraging and will I hope contribute to our global plastics crisis. I would encourage you to have a look at their website and view the many press releases and videos that the company posts on the subject.
Whilst projects such as The Ocean Cleanup will have a positive impact on plastic waste in our oceans there is a still lot to do – it is estimated that millions of tonnes of plastic currently enter the oceans every year.
So next time you throw away your plastic bottle remember that, whilst your one bottle is a small nondescript item, it in fact forms a tiny part of a huge global issue.