Article extracted from Asian Diver Issue 02/2020 (155)
Let’s take ownership of our plastic consumption. You have the choice to help battle this ongoing global issue!
DOs & DON’Ts
Use reusable products like water bottles, coffee mugs, and non-plastic cutlery
- According to Hydration Anywhere, more than 17 million barrels of oil are used to generate at least 50 million plastic water bottles each year in the US alone. That same amount of oil could fuel 1.3 million cars each year or power up to 190,000 homes.
- Beyond just the amount of physical waste and fuel conversion, harmful toxic gases are released into the air. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are responsible for various respiratory problems around the world. Burning single-use plastics in the form of disposable cups and containers is only aggravating the issue.
- By 2050, annual carbon dioxide emissions from plastic could grow to more than 2.75 billion tonnes.
Bring your own reusable bag when grocery shopping
- Each year, 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide. That’s around a million bags per minute. Nearly all of it ends up in landfills or contributes to marine plastic waste.
- A simple step like using a sturdy and reusable cloth, jute or canvas type bag is a conscientious step towards mitigating plastic waste. Additionally, you save the extra cost of being taxed by plastic bag levies.
- Apart from being a healthier option, making your own meals does not result in wasteful take-out bags and containers. Eating in involves far less single-use plastic items and disposable cutlery.
- If you do pick up food, make sure that you don’t need any plastic cutlery. Bring your own containers to restaurants for leftovers rather than using plastic bags.
Use beauty products containing microplastic
- All sorts of minuscule plastic particles are added to personal care products and cosmetics. Often found in scrubs or exfoliators, they are often used as emollient agents or as low-cost fillers.
- These microplastics are so tiny, they are not picked up by wastewater filtration systems, and they flow straight into our drainage systems and end up in the oceans.
- Marine animals absorb these particles and pass them along the food chain and they ultimately find their way onto your dinner plate.
Accept a straw when ordering a drink
- Although straws are only a fraction of the more than 9 billion tonnes of plastic we’ve generated to date, they’ve received a lot of attention due to their ubiquity and difficulty in recycling. Most straws end up in landfills or the ocean.
- If you need to use a straw, there are paper and non-plastic alternatives like bamboo, metal, and glass. Some people rely on drinking straws due to their physical limitations, but if you use straws only for convenience’s sake, try stopping altogether.
Buy synthetic clothing items
- Synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, rayon, and spandex are another major part of the plastic problem. These non-biodegradable fibres make their way into our waterways.
- In a study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, new synthetic fleece jackets were shown to shed 1.7 grams of microfibres with each wash. Older jackets can shed double that amount. Unfortunately, your local wastewater treatment plant only removes a proportion of these microfibres, with up to 40 percent entering rivers, lakes, and oceans.
Join our local Singaporean Ocean Defenders – Tom Peacock-Nazil (#UK/ #Singapore), Mathilda Dsilva (#Singapore), Mark Ko (#Singapore), and Paul Foster (#Singapore) as they share their local solution for a global vision on ocean plastic pollution!
Save the date:
5:00 pm Singapore time (GMT+8)
Catch it through these channels – See you online!
1) ADEX Official FB page: https://www.facebook.com/
2) APE Homepage: www.adex.asia