APPROACH TO DOLLY ROPE IN SUP-DIRECTIVE FALLS SHORT
De vervuiling van vispluis is een erkend milieuprobleem. Het materiaal breekt niet af op natuurlijke wijze en dieren raken erin verstrikt.
An estimated 209.6 trillion plastic microbeads enter the water from China every year. This is the equivalent of 306,900 kilos of microplastic. These findings were published by Chinese researchers in an article that appeared in the professional journal, Water Research.
The researchers examined nine facial scrubs on the number of microbeads they contained. This varied from 5,219 to 50,391 plastic beads per gram. Taking an average of 1.85 grams for each use, the researchers estimated that between 10,000 and 100,000 microbeads disappear down the drain every time someone uses a facial scrub. These minute plastic beads then flow into the sewage system.
Sewage purification plants are not designed to filter microbeads from waste water. This is the most important reason that they eventually add to the plastic soup. Once in the sea, microbeads also enter the food chain as they resemble the plankton and fish eggs that fish and other sea animals eat.
Given the damage that microbeads cause to the environment, a number of countries and personal care product producers have taken steps to ban or phase out microbeads from their products. In 2012, Unilever was the first major producer to pledge to remove microbeads from its products. In December 2015, President Obama signed the “Microbead-Free Waters Act”, that bans microbeads from 2017. In June 2016, the Canadian government classified plastic beads as toxic. The Plastic Soup Foundation would welcome China taking similar action.
If we all continue on the current path, by 2040 we will have twice as much plastic waste and the total amount of plastic in the ocean will be quadrupled. The current measures against the plastic soup are inadequate.
The European Union is now doing what the Dutch government should have done a long time ago: taxing packaging harmful to the environment. It is a win in the fight against plastic soup that this European tax is now being introduced. However, there are critical comments to be made.
We must reduce the current overconsumption of plastic. Plastic Free July is a perfect opportunity to reduce our plastic footprint and exposure to harmful chemicals and additives found in our everyday plastics. Here’s a selection of six daily plastic products that may threaten our health. Can you quit all of them?