Plastic Health Warning - A Toxic Karma
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We have produced 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic to date. In the next 30 years we are expected to produce 4 times as much as we do today.
79% of this was thrown into landfills, the ocean and other natural habitats.
12% of this was incinerated.
Less than 10% of this was recycled.
NB: There is a limit to the number of times plastic can be recycled so eventually it will be waste.
Fancy fish & chips? Or a cheeky California roll?
The plastic thrown into the ocean breaks down into microplastics, which helps transfer harmful chemicals into marine food chains. Remember Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) banned more than 30 years ago? Well PCBs still exist, on land and in water. The chemical structure of microplastics allows them to absorb and bind with PCBs and many more harmful chemicals (just think of all the cleaning products you put down your loo or sink), which are then digested by marine life, all the way from plankton to the top of the chain. You think well.. that is fine, I don't eat fish guts. IT DOESN'T MATTER! The hazardous chemicals are absorbed through the blood system into the fatty tissues of the fish.
Wondered why non-smokers got lung cancer?
Smoke and ash emitted into the atmosphere (& therefore drawn into our lungs), by the chimneys of incinerators contains acid gases, nitrogen oxide, heavy metals, particulates, and dioxin, which is a carcinogen. You don't need to smoke to get lung cancer these days. Oh and it leads to further emissions, pushing global warming and driving extreme weather conditions like Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Jose, Ophelia or the wildfires experienced in France, Italy, Croatia, Portugal, Canada, Australia, United States & more.
This is why I am calling for health warning signs on all plastic products like seen on cigarette packets. Did you give up smoking for health reasons or just never smoke because of it? Were you worried about secondary smoke? Well guess what, the chemicals omitted into the air and seeping into our food chain are far more dangerous & irreversible.
Food for thought - plastic producers say plastic takes 400-500 years to recycle, how do we know that is true when it has only existed for 100 years?
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