One day in a factory, next day in a supermarket, next day in a house, next day in the bin. Oh well, it’s just another piece of plastic - not that big a deal… Wrong! That piece of plastic is one of the eight million metric tonnes of plastic that go into the ocean each year. The ocean has become the overflow for our rubbish, but most of our rubbish goes into landfill, and we are producing more and more rubbish, so we are creating and filling more and more landfills - yuck! And our plastic causes other problems too. It starts its life in factories where it is made into things we buy, and out of those factories comes gases like Ozone, which is harmful to people and crops.
Factories aren’t the only contributors to our damaged planet. We, the ones who live on this planet, the humans who God has made in his image and who God told to look after this planet, are the ones who should be trying to save the planet. There are so many ways we could save the planet. It might take a while but I’m sure we could do it. One of those ways is to stop buying so much, especially plastic. We keep buying and wanting, so factories keep producing and polluting. We have done this process so many times that we have produced more plastic in ten years than we have in the whole last century.
WHAT?!!! That’s crazy, right? But where does it all go? Well, the earth wasn’t built with a giant rubbish bin, so we make one ourselves - a lot of them actually - landfills. Just in Australia, there are 600 officially registered landfills, so really, there are probably a lot more, and we just try to ignore it and live like they don’t exist. That may have worked for a while, but not anymore. Landfills are getting so big that some of them get up to 2,200 acres, That’s bad!!!!
What’s also bad is our oceans. There is so much rubbish in them that it is guessed that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish (https://www.businessinsider.com.au/plastic-in-ocean-outweighs-fish-evidence-report-2017-1?r=US&IR=T ) and already eight million metric tonnes of plastic goes into our oceans each year. That then makes things like ‘the great pacific garbage patch’, which is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean that stretches across the water from the west coast of North America to Japan. WHAT!!!!? And all that’s only been collecting since about the 1950s (https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/ ).
Our rubbish isn’t just affecting the fish and undersea animals though; it is affecting the birds. They are looking at our colourful plastic and think ‘wow that looks like the perfect food or my chick’, so they get it, fly back to their nests and feed it to their babies then because the chicks aren’t supposed to eat plastic they die. That is happening even on islands far out from the coast because the rubbish is travelled by wind and currents. An artist called Chris Jordan went and visited one of those islands only to find a heap of dead birds. He cut them open only to find them stuffed with plastic and rubbish. He made a photography exhibition about it to show people what they are doing. (http://www.chrisjordan.com/gallery/albatross/#trailer ).
Some people may say that we can’t live without plastic because it is used for so much, and it is so cheap and useful. It could take some time to get used to, but it will be easier the sooner we do it because it hasn’t even been around that long. And anyway, Scientists have actually proved that all this stuff we are consuming isn’t actually making us any happier. It is making our happiness decrease because we don’t have enough time to do the things we like. We go to school or work, come home and watch TV which tells us we’re not good enough, then go buy more, and we go around in that cycle.
So that is why I think we should start trying to reduce our plastic today, bit by bit. Every bit counts, so we should try only buying what you need next time you go shopping, or check that your putting your things in the right bins.
Step by step, until we succeed.