beat it if you don’t want to eat it
If you hear people complaining about the new year\'s move of Selangor asking consumers to pay for plastic shopping bags, would you like to ask them: \"Have you heard of the Pacific garbage belt?
\"If they don\'t, tell them that it\'s the name of a lot of ocean debris in the Pacific Ocean.
About 80% of the debris comes from the garbage we dump on land, which can reach the ocean.
The remaining 20% comes from ships and offshore oil rigs.
Most of 20% are fishing nets, but 80% of the land
As you have already guessed, the garbage is mainly plastic.
Thanks to our love of plastic, we have used and discarded so much plastic that it has now flooded our oceans and killed marine life.
Why the garbage belt is located in the Pacific Ocean is a circular ocean flow system caused by the rotation and wind pattern of the Earth, which produces a rotation that gathers garbage in the middle.
That\'s why it\'s also known as the Pacific garbage whirlpool.
The patch covers a huge area of about 1 mil square kilometers in the center and extends to 3 more. 5mil sq km.
And it\'s growing. Non-
Biodegradable plastics exposed to sunlight break into small pieces with a diameter of less than 5mm and become micro-plastics floating in water for a long time.
When marine life consumes them, plastic enters our food chain.
As we believe that biodegradable plastics are the answer, this is also illustrated by the latest findings of the United Nations Environment Programme.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme chief scientist Dr. Jacqueline mcgarard, biodegradable plastics like shopping bags will only break down at a temperature of 50 °c, which is what you are looking for in the ocean
Because the plastic will sink, it will not be exposed to the ultraviolet rays that destroy it.
Marine animals and seabirds also mistake them for food.
Plastic debris is estimated to kill 1 million seabirds and 100,000 mammals each year.
If all this information is not terrible enough, then consider: a report from the World Economic Forum predicts that if we continue our happy plastic way, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (by weight)by 2050.
The obvious problem is that we are addicted to plastic because it is very cheap to make and very convenient to use.
While Selangor is praised for its restrictions on plastic bags and polystyrene boxes, I think the country can do more.
Allowing retailers to charge customers for a bag or food container of 20 Sen is like a convenient loophole.
It\'s too cheap.
Some environmental activists say retailers should charge more, at least RM1.
I will go further: a bag of RM2.
Supermarkets should also provide empty cartons for customers to pack their groceries home.
But if we want to get rid of plastic bags successfully, we need to learn from others.
Many other countries, both developed and developing, have banned or taxed plastic bags.
I think the most interesting thing is that the experience of two countries like us in a state of development can provide us with valuable lessons.
In 2002, Bangladesh became the first country in the world to ban the use of light plastic bags because their abuse and disposal blocked the country\'s drainage system, causing serious flooding in late 1990.
The production, import, sale and storage of polyethylene shopping bags has become a criminal act and will be punished with imprisonment and high fines.
The ban was imposed for a year or two.
But the law enforcement is lax, and the promised cheap sack replacement has not come true, so people are re-using plastic bags.
More than a decade later, it seems that most Bengali people have forgotten the ban and the plastic bags have reportedly made a comeback.
What the 12 million-strong east African nation has done is very encouraging, considering the challenges it faces after the genocide of 1990 people.
In 2008, the government imposed a national ban on plastic bags for similar reasons to Bangladesh: they hindered sewer systems, hurt marine life and caused huge garbage problems.
This is a daunting task, which will certainly be unpopular given the widespread use of plastic bags.
However, in the process of rebuilding the country, the government of Rwanda decided to give priority to environmental protection.
Like Bangladesh, it imposed severe penalties on people who were caught carrying plastic bags.
Even travellers entering Rwanda are looking for plastic bags that will be confiscated.
Strict enforcement is not well enforced for small businesses, but it makes the ban effective.
This and tax incentives for plastic manufacturers to transform into other businesses.
This has changed and Rwanda can boast of a cleaner plastic bag --
Promote the development of tourism.
The plastic bag reduction plan for Selangor depends on the method of taxation;
That is to say, block its use by having people pay for it.
It does so with Penang and Malacca, and other states such as ak, Johor and federal territories will follow suit.
Like I said, I really doubt that 20 will act as a deterrent.
It is more important to educate and recognize the dangers of plastic pollution.
This is certainly useful to me.
I have highlighted keeping scrolling
I have a shopping bag in my handbag and can buy a lot of things.
This is the habit I started 10 years ago, and now it\'s a must --
Wherever I go, even overseas.
My car trunk was also filled with reusable shopping and grocery freezer bags.
I also brought some takeout containers.
It\'s actually very simple to bring my own bag and container. peasy.
What makes it harder for me to give up is my self-sealing bag and other plastics that keep my food sealed and the items clean and dry.
What can I do without disposable plastic water bottles.
It\'s too easy for us to use them.
That is why I would urge the authorities to consider reducing the use of plastic water bottles.
One way is to encourage-and better yet, to force the requirement-the mall has water dispensers and all restaurants can supply water to customers with reusable kettles and cups.
The same is true for companies that hold meetings, seminars and meetings.
But the first thing is: if we Selangor can at least reduce our dependence on yeolde plastic bags, then there is hope that we will do more, Rwanda --style.
If we really want to save our oceans and ultimately save ourselves, there are no two ways.
If we don\'t, if the fish we eat is also plastic, no one can blame us except ourselves.