Just a little environmentalist blog!

Ban single use plastic packaging

Plastic is one of the most prominent pollutants and is contaminating our seas and killing the aquatic life in them. Plastic does not biodegrade however does photo degrade so light breaks it down in to smaller parts. Plastic has made its way in to our food supplied and water supplies and is a problem we cannot ignore. We all use disposable plastics however here is a list of some of the most commonly used items that contain plastic and are the biggest pollutants.

  • Plastic bottles
  • Disposable Straws
  • Disposable paper cups
  • Glossy laminated paper
  • Food packaging such as yogurt pots and takeaway packaging
  • Plastic bags

Along with these there are many more items that we use daily that are made from plastic. Plastic is a material that will remain on earth for millions of years sat in our landfills and waters. Plastic just seems to be one of those materials that we seem to take for granted and use it regardless of the environmental impact it has.

 

So… who’s to blame?

This photo has become viral, it’s a photo of a seahorse dragging an ear bud. So who’s fault is this?

Let’s start the with manufactures, I am not an exception, we all use cosmetics and cosmetics have a high impact on our planet. From the manufacturing process right to the disposal. For example ear buds are mostly plastic, plastic is oil based and degrades very slowly. Plastic is used over biodegradable alternatives such as paper as its cheaper. Small cosmetic items generally end up in our sewers and landfills. Small cosmetics are not removed or degraded by water water treatment plants and are simply tossed it the water outlet pipe. 

What could we do to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in our waters? The easy option is to reduce the use of plastics, this would be the best case as the manufacture of plastic creates toxic byproducts. Plastic could be replaced by a bioplastic made from starch, this would both biodegrade and not have a negative impact on the environment. Plastic is one of the most used man made materials and is used very prominently, it’s the preferred option as its cheap but the true hidden costs are to our seas and the environment. plastic is harming our sea life.

Did you know there is more plastic in the sea than fish?

What about bees

Did you know bees are an essential part of our eco system? They help to pollinate plants and create a building block for our food industry. However they are at risk, the increased use of pesticides and herbicides has seen an decrease in bees over recent years. Starting a bee hive sounds like a great idea and urge you to start a bee hive. Creating a been haven in you garden is also a simple task, planting plants that attract bees does not only make your garden look even more colourful it also provides the fundimentals for bees. 

Electric vs diesel

We all know about the UK ban on diesel cars by 2040 but are electric cars up to it?

Around 85% of the UK power requirements come from non renewable sources such as Coal, Oil, Gas and Nuclear. Only around 15% thats around 53.7TWH in 2013. The use of renewable power is on the increase however the use of nuclear, and gas generation is still mainstream power generation. On the bright side there has been a massive decline in coal power generation in the UK.  With the increase in the use of electric cars there is a reduction in the use of diesel, petrol and emissions however its moving the problem of emissions from our streets to powerstations. Ideally by 2040 the majority of the power generated will come from renewable sources. Another problem is the use of lithium battery, lithium has a short life span however with new battery technologies constantly evolving the future for electric cars is looking bright. Its very unlikely that travel will be CO2 neutral however the use of electric cars will be a massive first step in reducing our carbon emissions.

Microbeads

Microbeads are small plastic beads used in cosmetic products, they are to small to be removed by filtration systems in water treatment works and eventually end up in our seas. Microbeads can be eaten by sea life, much like plastic can then cause the death of the sea life. Plastic has been linked to the reduction in marine life as plastics can effect the reproductive system. The only real fix to the plastic problem is to ban the use of microbeads and reduce our use of plastics. As mentioned in an older post only around 1% of plastic gets recycled and the other 99% end up in landfills and the sea’s, also plastic never degrades however does break down into smaller pieces.

Animal Testing

Is animal testing a good thing? Yes and No, animal testing has contributed to modern medicines and has  helped to cure many diseases, In the process of testing on a few hundred animals has helped save millions of lived. However its not all that good, I am totally agents animal testing for cosmetic products and products that will not be used to help save lives, I am also agents the way animals in animal testing laboratories are kept and treated however controversially i have mutual feelings about animals being tested to help create and develop products for use within the medical industry such as cures for deadly illnesses. I am an animal lover and truly believe that no animal should be bought to harm for any cause however understand that there is a need to this testing method for medical research until a better and more ethical method is developed. Overall animal testing should be stopped and development in to beta systems for testing should be developed.

How eco are festivals?

Are festivals environmental records really as bad as they are made out to be?

It has been bought to the media that festivals are “environmental disasters”. Many festivals ethos is to care for the world and keep the world clean. Festivals have a few environmental problems including left over tents and camping equipment as the most prominent. Festivals do indeed create a lot of waste from beer cups to tents to diesel fumes however festivals are not all as bad as first thought. much of the waste would have been generated anyway at the homes of the festival goers, infact waste at a festival is more likely to be recycled that if it was generated at home. All festivals rely on diesel generators to power the event, This is a big cause of the festivals pollution as most festivals require the same amount of power as a small housing estate, this is all generated by diesel . With the integration at some festivals  with the use of hybrid generators this impact is being slowly minimised. The biggest single cause of pollution at festivals is the transport to the event and back, Most people come in petrol or diesel powers cars and in most cases prefer car transport over public transport or lift sharing. If public transport and car sharing was used this would dramatically reduce the impact on the environment for events. Finally left over camping equipment pose a problem, most of this is now sorted and the good / clean equipment is given to charities; However some of the less clean and broken tents that are left over just end up in landfill. A plea of almost every festival is to take your belongings back with you, This seems to be slowly working. Oh by the way this is coming from a festival lover! Its supposed to be unbiased!

Plastic!

Plastic is a solid substance derived from Oil, Most plastics never degrade however do breakdown in to lots of microscopic bits of plastic. Only around 1% of plastics used are recycled where the other 99% ends up in Landfills, Incinerators and seas. I am not saying plastic is bad, in fact plastic is a very versatile substance and can be used to produce almost anything from bottles to phones to pipes and cables to name a few. The problem is the way that we dispose of plastics, We are all culprits to this and placing plastic in general waste bins that eventually end up in landfills and our waterways. Plastic bottles don’t rot or corrode like metals and natural products or get crushed in to sand like glass, they remain in our seas, waterways, ground and air for millions of years and contaminating our food chains and marine life. Plastics are becoming increasingly easier to recycle with most authorities accepting plastic on a kerb side collection system. Clean plastics are sorted and recycled.

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