From its arrival decades ago, plastic has transformed modern life. But in 2018, the alarm over the plastic pollution crisis sounded louder than ever. On Earth Day, the United Nations issued its first State of Plastics report, calling for more recycling and better ways to manufacture and manage the material in its many forms.
At The Conversation, we took a broad view of plastic, working with scholars to explain not only the environmental and health effects but also its cultural contribution and the industries that handle plastic goods – and waste.
1. We are guinea pigs
People now regularly hear reports of sea animals discovered with stomachs full of human-discarded plastic. But much of the plastic pollution in the oceans is microplastics – many times smaller than the width of a human hair.
Environmental epidemiologist John Meeker from the University of Michigan writes that the health effects of these microplastics, which are also found in many consumer products, are largely unknown. He walks through what scientists do know and notes that “given that human exposure to microplastics is widespread, results from animal studies are certainly a cause for concern and an important factor for risk assessment.”
In honour of Earth Day, here’s a video showing the beauty in our natural world. Incredible!
Greenpeace released this important and moving video about what we truly ‘need’ – clean air, safe water, protected rainforests and biodiversity. Take a look:
This is also another important video from the Gaia Foundation, about how our modern consumption is taking a severe toll on the sustainability of this incredible planet.
Earth Day is a special occasion for us to stop and think about the beauty of the natural world, take it all in and to think long and hard about how we can preserve this beauty for future generations. Small everyday acts of kindness towards our planet, each other and to the millions of species we co-exist with can help us preserve scenes like the ones we’ve just seen for generations to come. There are thousands of ways to take part in Earth…
Earth Day is celebrated around the world on 22 April(Nasa Earth Observatory)
Earth Day is celebrated around the world on 22 April.
Over 190 countries worldwide take part in Earth Day celebrations by organising various events every year.
On the occasion, IBTimes UK has compiled top ten quotes about the environment.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein
“I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.” – Mother Teresa
“The good man is the friend of all living things.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Trees are Earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.” – Rabindranath Tagore
“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” – Lady Bird Johnson
“An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.” – David Attenborough
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” – Walt Whitman
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ” – Lao Tzu
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” – Rachel Carson