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Waste awful  plastic addiction is out of control | Upload Household

Awful! Plastic Addiction Is Out Of Control

by: Hans van der Broek
awful  plastic addiction is out of control | Upload

If we really want to solve this problem, we need to start with our daily habits and (reducing) this material consumption. I know this isn’t the answer people want, but it’s the inconvenient truth. Awful! Plastic addiction is out of control.

Where Can We Find Plastic Particles?

  • Our air, water, and salt are contaminated by plastic, and the impact on our health is unknown.
  • Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic, studies show. 
  • Studies show that even water that has undergone filtration contains plastic. It is a ubiquitous contaminant.
  • Tap water worldwide is contaminated with tiny plastic fibers, and other pilot studies have revealed microplastics in beer, sugar, salt, honey, and seafood, in the air in cities, and homes.
  • The impact on the health of this apparently pervasive pollution is unknown, though microplastics do harm some marine life, and scientists are calling for urgent research.

Microplastics, Where Do They Come From?

The biggest sources are synthetic clothing and dust from tires and road markings. But all the millions of tonnes of plastic released each year eventually break down in the environment into tiny pieces. Can I avoid consuming microplastics, say by filtering water?

Recommended: Plastic Particle Pollution: Caught In Action

"We can’t filter ourselves out of this mess," says Sherri Mason, at the State University of New York in Fredonia, who conducted the tap water analyses. "Our study indicated that even water which undergoes filtration still has plastic. It is a ubiquitous contaminant, so if we really want to solve this problem, we need to start with our daily habits and (reducing) consumption of this material. I know this isn’t the answer people want, but it’s the inconvenient truth."

Reduce My Use Of Plastic

As huge numbers of plastic fibers are released during every wash of synthetic clothes, choosing sustainable, natural fiber clothing is a good start, says Mason. Using reusable water bottles and avoiding plastic straws are also good steps, says Laura Grant, from the UK’s Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management: "Prevention is the best answer – to not use plastic in the first place."Plastic bag taxes across the UK have already led to billions of single-use bags not being used, and a forthcoming ban on microbeads in personal hygiene products will also help a little.

Recommended: Plastic Waste Everywhere! Is Any Of My Plastic Out There?

Avoiding Washing Millions Of Plastic Fibers Down The Drain

Some fabrics are much worse than others, with acrylic the biggest shedder, says Plymouth University’s Imogen Napper, who did the first research on the topic. A standard load of acrylic clothes shed 729,000 fibers, with polyester shedding 496,000 and cotton-polyester mixes shedding 138,000. "There is room for improvement in the filters on washing machines," she says, though finer filters risk getting clogged more often. But start-up innovators are beginning to tackle the issue, with the Cora Ball claiming to snag the fibers in the drum, while the GuppyFriend washing bag aims to contain them. Handwashing won’t help, Napper says: "The fibers are still going to be there."
One study found that a fleece jacket can shed up to 250,000 fibers per wash. Natural fiber clothing would decrease the number of plastic fibers entering our water. 

 


                                         Microfibers and How to Avoid Them | Fashion and the Environment
                                                         Awful! Plastic Addiction Is Out Of Control

Could All Plastic Be Done Away With?

Not at the moment. Some packaging is needed, especially for food, spoiling more quickly without adding to the food waste problem. So there’s a balance, says Linda Crichton at Wrap, but people should complain to retailers about over-packaging, and much more plastic needs to be recycled – currently, it’s just 15%.

Can All Plastics Be Recycled?

In theory, yes. Most important, says Crichton, is the message about bottles: “If it is plastic and bottle-shaped, it can be recycled.” That means shampoo and bleach bottles and drinks and milk bottles, she says, with 97% of local authorities accepting them. Tubs, pots, and trays are more complicated, and Crichton says people in the UK should use the postcode locator on the RecycleNow website to find out about their area. She also says some supermarkets now collect thin plastics, such as bags and wraps, otherwise hard to recycle. In Germany, consumers get a small refund when returning a plastic bottle. More than 98% of plastic bottles are returned. 
Boy recycling plastic bottle germany
A boy recycles a plastic bottle in an automatic bottle bank vending machine inside a supermarket in Leichlingen.

What About A Deposit Return Scheme For Bottles?

About 400 plastic bottles are sold every second in the UK, but only half are recycled. But in Germany, where people get a small refund on returning a bottle, more than 98% are returned. Scotland is now introducing a scheme, and there is growing pressure for the whole UK to follow suit. But the widescale return of glass milk bottles could be tricky, says Crichton: “I am one of the few people who still get their milk in glass bottles, but a lot of that infrastructure has disappeared.”

Recommended: Are Bio-Based Bottles Good For The Environment?

How Else Can I Stop Plastic Polluting The Environment?

Making sure rubbish doesn’t get blown away by the wind is a simple but important step, says Grant, as this causes a surprisingly large amount of plastic litter. That means closing bin lids and tying bags properly. There’s also the big issue of plastic fibers from clothing.

What Should I Demand Of Politicians For The Future?

Plenty. Household recycling rates in England have flatlined at 44% in recent years, so local authorities need to increase funding and ambition. Much research is needed on microplastics' impacts, and governments must then regulate or incentivize, so the worst is better managed or replaced with new materials. Some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, have already mandated that short-life plastics must be made from biodegradable materials, meaning even if they end up in the environment, they will eventually disappear.

Before you go!

Recommended: Microplastics Can Be Moved From The Ocean: Is It Harming Us?

Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

Like to write your article about our plastic addiction?
Send your writing & scribble with a photo to [email protected], and we will write an interesting article based on your input.

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Hans van der Broek, founder

Founder and CEO of WhatsOrb, world traveller, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Hans has countless ideas and has set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. He also has an opinion on everything and unlimited thoughts about how to create a better world. He likes hiking and has climbed numerous five-thousanders (mountain summits of at least 5000m or 16,404 feet in elevation)

 

Hans van der Broek, founder

Founder and CEO of WhatsOrb, world traveller, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Hans has countless ideas and has set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. He also has an opinion on everything and unlimited thoughts about how to create a better world. He likes hiking and has climbed numerous five-thousanders (mountain summits of at least 5000m or 16,404 feet in elevation)

 

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Awful! Plastic Addiction Is Out Of Control

If we really want to solve this problem, we need to start with our daily habits and (reducing) this material consumption. I know this isn’t the answer people want, but it’s the inconvenient truth. Awful! Plastic addiction is out of control. Where Can We Find Plastic Particles? Our air, water, and salt are contaminated by plastic, and the impact on our health is unknown. Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic, studies show.  Studies show that even water that has undergone filtration contains plastic. It is a ubiquitous contaminant. Tap water worldwide is contaminated with tiny plastic fibers, and other pilot studies have revealed microplastics in beer, sugar, salt, honey, and seafood, in the air in cities, and homes. The impact on the health of this apparently pervasive pollution is unknown, though microplastics do harm some marine life, and scientists are calling for urgent research. Microplastics, Where Do They Come From? The biggest sources are synthetic clothing and dust from tires and road markings. But all the millions of tonnes of plastic released each year eventually break down in the environment into tiny pieces. Can I avoid consuming microplastics, say by filtering water? Recommended:  Plastic Particle Pollution: Caught In Action "We can’t filter ourselves out of this mess," says Sherri Mason, at the State University of New York in Fredonia, who conducted the tap water analyses. "Our study indicated that even water which undergoes filtration still has plastic. It is a ubiquitous contaminant, so if we really want to solve this problem, we need to start with our daily habits and (reducing) consumption of this material. I know this isn’t the answer people want, but it’s the inconvenient truth." Reduce My Use Of Plastic As huge numbers of plastic fibers are released during every wash of synthetic clothes, choosing sustainable, natural fiber clothing is a good start, says Mason. Using reusable water bottles and avoiding plastic straws are also good steps, says Laura Grant, from the UK’s Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management: "Prevention is the best answer – to not use plastic in the first place."Plastic bag taxes across the UK have already led to billions of single-use bags not being used, and a forthcoming ban on microbeads in personal hygiene products will also help a little. Recommended:  Plastic Waste Everywhere! Is Any Of My Plastic Out There? Avoiding Washing Millions Of Plastic Fibers Down The Drain Some fabrics are much worse than others, with acrylic the biggest shedder, says Plymouth University’s Imogen Napper, who did the first research on the topic. A standard load of acrylic clothes shed 729,000 fibers, with polyester shedding 496,000 and cotton-polyester mixes shedding 138,000. "There is room for improvement in the filters on washing machines," she says, though finer filters risk getting clogged more often. But start-up innovators are beginning to tackle the issue, with the Cora Ball claiming to snag the fibers in the drum, while the GuppyFriend washing bag aims to contain them. Handwashing won’t help, Napper says: "The fibers are still going to be there." One study found that a fleece jacket can shed up to 250,000 fibers per wash. Natural fiber clothing would decrease the number of plastic fibers entering our water.    {youtube}                                          Microfibers and How to Avoid Them | Fashion and the Environment                                                          Awful! Plastic Addiction Is Out Of Control Could All Plastic Be Done Away With? Not at the moment. Some packaging is needed, especially for food, spoiling more quickly without adding to the food waste problem. So there’s a balance, says Linda Crichton at Wrap, but people should complain to retailers about over-packaging, and much more plastic needs to be recycled – currently, it’s just 15%. Can All Plastics Be Recycled? In theory, yes. Most important, says Crichton, is the message about bottles: “If it is plastic and bottle-shaped, it can be recycled.” That means shampoo and bleach bottles and drinks and milk bottles, she says, with 97% of local authorities accepting them. Tubs, pots, and trays are more complicated, and Crichton says people in the UK should use the postcode locator on the RecycleNow website to find out about their area. She also says some supermarkets now collect thin plastics, such as bags and wraps, otherwise hard to recycle. In Germany, consumers get a small refund when returning a plastic bottle. More than 98% of plastic bottles are returned.  A boy recycles a plastic bottle in an automatic bottle bank vending machine inside a supermarket in Leichlingen. What About A Deposit Return Scheme For Bottles? About 400 plastic bottles are sold every second in the UK, but only half are recycled. But in Germany, where people get a small refund on returning a bottle, more than 98% are returned. Scotland is now introducing a scheme, and there is growing pressure for the whole UK to follow suit. But the widescale return of glass milk bottles could be tricky, says Crichton: “I am one of the few people who still get their milk in glass bottles, but a lot of that infrastructure has disappeared.” Recommended:  Are Bio-Based Bottles Good For The Environment? How Else Can I Stop Plastic Polluting The Environment? Making sure rubbish doesn’t get blown away by the wind is a simple but important step, says Grant, as this causes a surprisingly large amount of plastic litter. That means closing bin lids and tying bags properly. There’s also the big issue of plastic fibers from clothing. What Should I Demand Of Politicians For The Future? Plenty. Household recycling rates in England have flatlined at 44% in recent years, so local authorities need to increase funding and ambition. Much research is needed on microplastics' impacts, and governments must then regulate or incentivize, so the worst is better managed or replaced with new materials. Some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, have already mandated that short-life plastics must be made from biodegradable materials, meaning even if they end up in the environment, they will eventually disappear. Before you go! Recommended:  Microplastics Can Be Moved From The Ocean: Is It Harming Us? Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about our plastic addiction? Send your writing & scribble with a photo to  [email protected] , and we will write an interesting article based on your input.
Stay Updated on Environmental Improvements And Global Innovations