Every year, 300 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide, because plastic is cheap, light, unbreakable and durable. For the most part plastic is made from non-renewable petroleum or natural gas. More than 600 billion plastic bags, which are produced annually all around the world, use up 2 billion litres of crude oil alone! But above all, plastic is toxic. Approximately 6 million tons of plastic ends up in the seas each year, and have especially grave consequences. This plastic waste slowly breaks down into smaller and smaller particles. Plastic bags take 20 years to degrade, plastic bottles 450 years and fishing nets almost an inconceivable 600 years!
There is now six times as much plastic than plankton in the oceans. Where gigantic floating garbage dumps have collected in sea vortexes, the ratio of plastic to plankton is 40:1. During the processes of disintegration, the toxic substances contained in plastic are consumed by marine creatures.
- Cut down on disposables.
- Buy consciously: Prefer natural and long-life materials; do not buy any care products with microplastic (e.g. in body peelings or toothpaste)… more
The accumulation of toxins grows in the food chain with the increasing size of the fish ending up on our dinner plates, eventually. For this reason, reduce disposables, use reusable bags made of cloth or paper and use glass instead of plastic containers. You can find further recommendations in our brochure “Plastic – A problematic substance“.
An exciting venture is the “Ocean Clean up – Project” from Boyan Slat, which we watch with interest. Find more about this on his homepage: www.theoceancleanup.com
A life without plastic? Difficult to imagine: Where we look, whatever we do, whether we play, work, eat or undergo medical treatment – plastic is our always present, practical companion. As material, plastic offers convincing advantages: It is easy to shape and dye, can be soft and hard, is low density and is therefore light and is resistant to acid and caustics. Also it is comparably cheap. It is, however, these seemingly pleasant qualities that are causing a global problem. A problem of an extent far beyond our imagination.