In the first decade of this century, we made more plastic than all the plastic in history up to the year 2000. And every year, billions of pounds of plastic end up in the world’s oceans. Studies estimate that there are now 15-51 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans – from the equator to the poles, and from the Arctic ice sheets to the sea floor. Not a single square mile of ocean surface anywhere on Earth is free of plastic pollution.
Fish in the North Pacific ingest 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic each year, which can cause intestinal injury and death and transfers plastic up the food chain to bigger fish, marine mammals and human seafood eaters. A recent study found that a quarter of fish at markets in California contained plastic in their guts, mostly in the form of plastic microfibers. Sea turtles can mistake floating plastic garbage for food. They can choke, sustain internal injury and die — or starve by thinking they’re full from eating plastic. Tragically, research indicates that half of sea turtles worldwide have ingested plastic. New studies find plastic pollution is so pervasive on many beaches that it’s affecting their reproduction. Hundreds of thousands of seabirds ingest plastic every year. Plastic ingestion reduces the storage volume of the stomach, causing starvation. It’s estimated that 60 percent of all seabird species have eaten pieces of plastic, with that number predicted to increase to 99 percent by 2050. Dead seabirds are often found with stomachs full of plastic, reflecting how the amount of garbage in our oceans has rapidly increased in the past 40 years.
Our role as environmental and civil associations is to address the problem of throwing plastic waste into the sea. An environmental media plan must be relied on to raise awareness and protect ecological diversity from the catastrophic risks of plastic on human and animal health:
– Civil societies should cooperate with municipalities, ministries and the educational sector to carry out continuous field lectures and large media campaigns to warn against throwing plastic into the sea and to show its catastrophic risks.
– Allocating classes and workshops for children in cooperation with scout associations, schools and sports clubs to raise awareness of the dangers of throwing plastic into the seas and waterways.
– Formation of legal pressure groups consisting of lawyers and advocates, environmental and social advisors to demand the adoption of strict laws to protect the seas and water resources from intruders
– Putting pressure on the regulatory authorities to activate accountability and control on the Lebanese beaches (such as the Coast Guard and those involved in beach monitoring)
– Put pressure on manufacturers. corporations obviously have a much bigger footprint. If you believe a company could be smarter about its packaging, make your voice heard.
– Increase awareness campaign to reduce use of single use- plastic
– Avoid Products Containing Microbeads: Tiny plastic particles, called “microbeads,” have become a growing source of ocean plastic pollution in recent years.
The social and media plan and the development of methods of influencing public opinion and society around a sea without plastic. Developing fisheries and cleaning beaches from plastic waste that needs more than to decompose, and warning against burning plastic waste without recycling is the most appropriate solution.
العربية (Arabic) English Within the framework of the “Lebanese civil society combat…