The plastic soup contains to grow and if we continue this way, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by the year 2050. We cannot allow this to happen and that is the reason why the European Commission introduces a ban on disposable plastic.
The amount of plastic in our oceans and seas is still increasing because of all the waste we throw away in our streets, the fish nets left in the oceans, the washing of synthetic clothing and the cleaning of our teeth. All this plastic together is called the plastic soup and can be, because plastic is not digestible, deadly for many animals. In March of this year it became clear that this plastic soup is even bigger than expected: after research in the Pacific Ocean, scientists discovered that four times as much plastic floats in the ocean than expected and that just the Pacific Oceans already contains 80.000 tons plastic.
In their way to the oceans and the seas, the plastics bring along all kind of toxic substances form our sewers and past contaminated areas. In addition, due to weathering, sunlight and waves, plastic disintegrates into smaller pieces, allowing toxic substances to be released from the plastic. Many marine animals then see the plastic as food, so that the toxins end up in our food chain. Since 72% of the Earth’s surface consists of oceans and because these oceans are not only our larges oxygen suppliers but also the main food source for half of the world’s population, this plastic soup is a major problem.
The Ocean Clean Up is going to start cleaning up the plastic soup this year and they expect to remove about 90 percent of the plastic in the Pacific Ocean. In addition to cleaning the seas and oceans, we also have to prevent so much plastic from entering the water. Therefore, the European Commission takes measures and has presented a bill to ban disposable plastic.
Plastic disposable plates and cutlery, plastic straws and plastic stirrers will be forbidden and restrictions will apply to other disposable plastic products. For example, the plastic cup and the use of plastic trays by takeaways, cafeteria and fast food restaurants must be reduced to a substantial level. With this bill, the European Commission expects companies to use more sustainable alternatives and the conscious use of plastic.
Not only the European Commission worries about the future of our planet, the consumer also attaches more and more value to sustainability, which has an ever-greater influence on the buying behaviour of the consumer. In addition, the consumer needs honest and clear information. Using labels and campaigns, consumers can be helped to choose more sustainable products and to separate waste properly. Therefore, make sure that your products stand out and make clear why the consumer should choose your product with the aid of the label.
Source: plasticsoupfoundation.org, nos.nl, volkskrant.nl