The Earth is what we all have in common
Vision of the future: a world without plastic
Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic objects and particles in the Earth's environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, and humans. Plastics are inexpensive and durable, and as a result levels of plastic production by humans are high. However, the chemical structure of most plastics renders them resistant to many natural processes of degradation and as a result they are slow to degrade. Together, these two factors have led to a high prominence of plastic pollution in the environment.
Plastic pollution can afflict land, waterways and oceans. It is estimated that 1.1 to 8.8 million tonnes of plastic waste enters the ocean from coastal communities each year. Living organisms, particularly marine animals, can be harmed either by mechanical effects, such as entanglement in plastic objects, problems related to ingestion of plastic waste, or through exposure to chemicals within plastics that interfere with their physiology. Effects on humans include disruption of various hormonal mechanisms.On a daily basis, we are bombarded by news that requires action, but doesn’t drive us to act. Consuming colossal numbers about colossal issues, we become fixed points, unmoved by the baying demands on our empathy. Climate change, the ultimate colossal issue, perfectly captures the battle between know and do, think and feel. Our sluggish global response persists even as the evidence becomes incontrovertible and the real human suffering becomes abundant.
But something is shifting, now, with a momentum that’s by-passing all the usual blocking points: breaking domestic habits; declaring itself in the manifestos of our most powerful businesses; redesigning the way we shop...That thing is the narrative being built against single-use plastics.