A team of researchers analyzed the sources and levels of mismanaged plastic waste that are making their way into the world’s waterways. They found that China and Indonesia are the leading sources of plastic bottles, bags and other rubbish impacting the world’s waters. Combined, both nations account for more than a third of plastic detritus in global waters, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Floating Parades of Platic Streaming Away From China and Indonesia
The top 20 countries dumping global garbage in our oceans account for over 80% of the ocean waste. And as always, the United States elbowed it’sway into the Top 20 ocean polluters, at #20. The U.S. annually dumps 0.3 million metric tons, or 300,000 metric cubes of waterborne plastic garbage, far lower than China, but still an incredible amount.
People living along the coast of China and Indonesia generated 275 million metric tons of plastic waste of which 3% is mismanaged and about 1% washes into the ocean. Not an alarming percentage but when you visualize the amount every year, its staggering. Three million metric tons equates to three million one meter cubes of plastic debris. Quite a lot when it is floating across the water’s service. In 2010, 8.8 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste in the ocean was traced back to China while 3.2 million metric tons came from Indonesia.
So What This Have To Do With A Person’s Carbon Footprint?
So how does this relate to the focus of Green Blizzard and the never-ending quest to reduce one’s carbon footprint? Think about it for a few more seconds. Every plastic bottle or disposable grocery bag that you use has a chance of jumping out of the recycling stream and into a nearby waterway and eventually making its way to the ocean. We are all culpable, no matter how earnest our intentions. Eventually, one of our discards will be blown out of the recycling bin or off the back of the truck hauling it away.
Plastics are made from petroleum, that sequestered carbon pumped up from deep below the earth and transformed with considerable energy into a man-made product. The ocean is designed to a absorb a natural amount of CO2, too much and it begins to acidify. But the ocean is not designed to absorb mind-boggling amounts of petroleum products which impacting its natural balance.
So What Can I Do?
Reduce Your Disposable Plastic Consumption
- Minimize Plastic Container Use – Buy and USE reusable bottle and shopping bags.
- Minimize Your Consumption Of Bottled Drink Products – Change your purchase habits away from sugar/caffeine enriched drinks and bring your own water or as a novelty, use a nearby water fountain.