Welche Schritte unternimmt die Welt, um die immer größer werdende Flut von Plastikmüll einzudämmen?
Plastic bags: part of a larger problem
Plastic has been in the news a lot lately: as a planet, we are slowly waking up to the environmental cost of this material. The world map shows how some countries are enforcing small but important measures to break their dependence on it.
Not so fast, though: plastic is great. We make medical devices out of it. We create packaging that delivers food and water (also to the poor in faraway places). It’s not plastic that’s the problem, goes the new mantra: it’s what we do with it.
Sadly, though, we haven’t even begun to get that right. National Geographic recently reported that “18 billion pounds of plastic end up in the ocean each year”, and that tiny organisms can break a plastic bag down into 1.75 million “microplastic” pieces. This is bad news for our ecosystems.
More than 40 countries now have some sort of ban on the use of plastic bags — a step in the right direction. A shining example is Rwanda, which, in 2008, introduced a total national ban on such bags. An environmental pioneer, this East African country is one of the cleanest nations on Earth.