World Map

Welche Schritte un­tern­immt die Welt, um die im­mer größer wer­dende Flut von Plastik­müll einzudäm­men?

Spotlight - - CONTENTS -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Austria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.