The plastic disaster we at present face impacts everybody on the planet. No one has immunity from the dangerous results of plastic air pollution, and until we do one thing drastic, our planet and its inhabitants will proceed to undergo.
While some international locations resembling Costa Rica have banned single-use plastics, the world has an extended solution to go earlier than it solves the plastic epidemic.
Some cities, resembling Seattle, Washington, have banned single-use straws, and zero-waste grocery shops have begun to pop up internationally. These efforts are commendable, in fact, however the remainder of the world must catch up and observe swimsuit in order that we are able to have a sustainable planet now and sooner or later.
Here are some startling statistics from Green Peace about simply how pervasive the plastic problem has grow to be:
- Roughly 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced for the reason that Nineteen Fifties, which equates to the load of a couple of billion elephants.
- Of all of the plastic, solely 9% has been recycled, 12% has been burned and the remaining has ended up in landfills or the surroundings.
- 12.7 million tons of plastic enter the oceans yearly.
- Every minute, the equal of a truck filled with plastic will get dumped into the oceans.
- There are 5 trillion items of plastic in our oceans, which is sufficient to circle the globe over 400 instances.
- First-world international locations just like the U.S., U.Ok., and Canada export plastic waste to international locations in Asia and Africa, giving the plastic drawback away to usually poorer communities.
As you may see, we have now reached dire instances relating to the manufacturing and recycling of plastic. Unfortunately, most moldable shouldn’t be recyclable. So the one answer appears to be altering the supplies we use in our every day merchandise.
Or, we may simply purchase and produce much less typically (somebody needed to say it).
The Plastic-Eating Worm
For now, although, scientists have discovered one other viable answer to the issue – a worm that may actually eat its means by way of our plastic. Called a waxworm however truly a member of the caterpillar household, this tiny creature may probably assist save our planet. This wonderful discovery was made by chance, as most life-changing findings are.
Professor and beekeeper Federica Bertocchini positioned a few of these worms in a plastic bag. They later discovered tiny holes within the bag. Along with scientists Paolo Bombelli and Christopher J. Howe, Bertocchini determined to conduct additional research utilizing 100 of the worms.
They positioned the worms in numerous procuring baggage and observed holes after about 40 minutes. After 12 hours, they discovered that the plastic had decreased by 92mg. So that they might verify whether or not the worms had an precise impact on the plastic, the scientists crushed a few worms and put them on the luggage.
They discovered holes in them as soon as once more; this proved that one thing within the chemical make-up of the worms had truly eaten by way of the plastic.
Scientists imagine that these plastic-eating worms have a sure enzyme that helps them digest plastic. Hopefully, they are going to do extra research about this enzyme, and shortly!
Perhaps scientists can start to launch the worms into areas with heavy plastic air pollution to assist clear up the Earth.