NO TO PLASTIC THIS SEPTEMBER
- 10 Sep
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Solid waste management is undoubtedly one of the most topical environmental challenges of our time. Approximately 1.65million tonnes of waste are produced annually in Zimbabwe, of which 18% is plastic. Plastic waste remains a challenging issue because of its non-biodegradable nature. Global statistics indicate that 10% of all human generated waste is plastic and 5 trillion plastic bags are used each year, hence the magnitude of this waste stream.
Clean up month of September
According to the environmental calendar, September is the“Clean up Month” during which antilitter activities are intensified. Some of the anti-litter activities which characterize this month include; raising awareness, roadblocks, clean up campaigns, among others. The main purpose of all this is to create a clean, safe and healthy environment. This September, the theme is “No to Plastic” which emphasizes the need to reduce plastic and resort to more environmentally friendly alternatives.
What are the dangers of plastics to the environment?
Plastic is a handy and potentially durable material, which makes it ideal for a number of commercial and household uses. It has become a substitute for many items which used to be made from other substances and, in many cases is extremely useful and convenient. However, it has many environmental downsides starting from production to disposal.
Plastic is a derivative of petroleum, natural gas or similar substances. They are transformed into a substance known as polymer resin, which is then shaped and formed into whatever object is desired. However, as a petroleum by-product, plastic production presents a major source of air and water pollution.
Huge volumes of plastics, especially plastic bags, end up in landfills. Besides the fact that available landfill space is becoming increasingly scarce, plastic poses problems for landfills because most plastic is not biodegradable, which means that it does not break down to its simple component parts. It remains in landfills indefinitely, posing a threat to animals and birds that frequently become tangled in plastic bags and plastic rings for soft drink cans, either choking or breaking their wings.