Turning the Tide Against Plastics- APR 30, 2019
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Turning the Tide Against Plastics. By 2050, it is reported, our seas will contain more plastic than fish. This fact may be alarming but should not be surprising, in a world where single-use disposable plastics have been a way of life for decades. Costa Rican businesses and their customers can be part of the problem or the solution. It’s a choice we can make right now, individually or together, towards reversing this ever-worsening environmental threat.
Our beaches are lined with plastic bottles that were used just once, but will take 450 years to decompose. Around the world, 1 million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute.
Nearly 2 million single-use plastic bags are distributed worldwide every minute.
Recycling is not an excuse for justifying single use. While plastics in some locations are recycled, most plastics are not recycled, nor can they be.
Most plastics end up in the ground or burnt into the atmosphere. Around 79 percent of plastic waste has accumulated in landfills, dumps or the environment.
Over 8 million tons of plastic finds its way via rivers and drains into the ocean. This proves fatal to marine life such as turtles and whales that mistakenly fill their bellies with plastic bags and flotsam.
Without delay, it is time to say goodbye to single-use plastic altogether. To clean up our oceans, we must first clean up our lives of convenience. Businesses have a large responsibility for consumer usage of plastics and simple purchasing practices can help.
Buy glass bottles, not plastic. Offer reusable shopping bags or remind consumers to bring their own. Restaurant owners need to offer only paper or biodegradable straws. And for takeaway food, prepare it in paper, foil or multi-use packaging.
All these items find their way onto our beaches and with every changing tide, into our oceans.
There is still time to turn the tide on plastics in our oceans, but that time is now. It’s the right way to do business, both for providers and consumers of products or services, in Costa Rica and everywhere.
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