by Taetske | 3:06 pm
(Last Updated On: September 17, 2019)

 

Return to sender, take care of your own plastic waste

 

Plastic Waste

Plastic Waste

 

Have you ever thought about what happens to all our plastic waste? I mean the waste from countries like Canada, UK, and the U.S. just to name a few? It seems we, the modern and “advanced” countries think it is easier to dump our garbage onto other countries instead of recycling it ourselves. Personally, I was not aware of this problem until I read this story on CNN World.

 

One country which said no

Malaysia has said “basta”, we do not wish to be your garbage bin anymore. Go and take care of your own created pollution. They will return 450 tonnes of contaminated plastic to the countries of origin. It seems that nine shipping containers were discovered at Port Klang which is west of Kuala Lumpur. In those containers was a mix between wrongly labeled plastics and non-recyclable waste. It even included a mix of e-waste and household wastes.

E-waste has no place in a container with recyclable plastic. E-waste is a combination of discarded electrical or electronic devices. If the bits and pieces are not treated and recycled in the right way, it may pose a health danger as well as causing environmental pollution.

 

variety in plastic pollution

Variety in Plastic Pollution

 

Malaysia will return the plastic waste

Mr. Yeo Bee Yin, minister of energy, science, technology, environment, and climate change was not amused, to say the least. The following countries can expect a return of their waste products to then to be dealt with in the place of origin. These countries are the U.S. UK, Canada, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Netherlands, and Singapore.

I find this is more than embarrassing for those countries, a real loss of face. Most of these countries have an exaggerated use of plastic to start with and secondly are wealthy enough to take care of their own waste. That they prefer, probably a money question, to send their garbage on a long trip just to get rid of it makes one think.

Last month Spain received back 5 containers of waste. More countries in Europe are “guilty” of this crime but it seems that Japan is on top of the list as a plastic waste exporter.

No wonder Mr. Yeo Bee Yin said enough is enough. When you look at the data it is quite staggering. It seems that one UK recycling company got rid of 50.000 metric tonnes of plastic waste in the past 2 years. That is enormous, 1000 containers exported by 1 company in one country. One cannot continue to shove ones responsibility away. Like out of sight is problem gone, it does not function like that.

 

Fishing nets

Fishing Nets

 

The Philippines was not amused either

Just a few weeks ago there was an incident between the Philippines and Canada. It even caused some diplomatic friction when the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, said he would be prepared to declare war on Canada if they did not take their garbage back. Canada could only pacify Duterte by promising to pay for the full cost of this operation and take it back before the end of June.

 

dead sea turtle

Dead Sea Turtle

 

Important Basel Convention

187 Countries, including Malaysia, signed the Basel Convention.  The UN Environment and the European Commission jointly hosted a conference in parallel with the UN General Assembly, enabling governments to join the race to the top through the Global Plastics Platform. Many countries have woken up to the serious threat of plastic. India plans to ban all single-use plastics by the years 2022.

There will be no more plastic bags in Chile, Botswana, and Peru. Another good example of this plastic battle is that Nigeria will set up recycling plants across the country. One can battle this plastic overload by implementing measures and each country should manage its own waste plastic instead of shipping it somewhere else.

Marine life suffers because of our plastic and millions of animals die each year. They are trapped in nets or plastic bags. Sea birds have plastic rings around their beaks. Turtles eat plastic and these pieces of plastic fill their stomachs and the animals eventually starve and die.

 

 

I think it is quite ridiculous to keep spreading ones plastic waste from one country to another, even traveling for weeks overseas. There must be better methods to avoid this nonsense. I think first of all people have to become conscious of what is happening in their own homes.

 

Some ways to reduce your plastic use

If you cannot avoid a plastic bag, then at least reuse it.

Go shopping with your own cloth or plastic bag and buy fruits and vegetables which are not wrapped up in plastic. After all, they come in their own wrapping, which is the skin.

In case you go to a take away one could consider going there with your own containers to avoid those styrofoam plastic boxes.

If you get a plastic straw in a bar tell these people you want a paper straw.

How about taking your own coffee mug from home, like that you save at least 1 plastic cup from being used.

There are companies which have reformulated a part of their product to lessen the plastic damage caused to fauna and flora.

Support companies which use recycled plastic, whether it is for wrapping or the actual products.  It is quite amazing what things can be made out of old plastic.

Take as an example these fashionable ballerina shoes, one would really not know, seeing these shoes, that some of their parts are made of recycled plastic. Even the boxes these shoes are sold in are biodegradable.

How about some swimwear? Shorts for the beach made of 11 recycled plastic bottles, how cool is that?

There are many more items which can be made of recycled plastic, like fishing net sunglasses or the bottles for hair products. By changing the bottles used for these products, the planet will be spared 360 tons of new plastic each year. The list gets longer every day as people and companies come up with new ideas and solutions.

 

 

Conclusion

Come on people, we can all do better than this. If we all do our bit, the world would be a better place. Luckily there are already a lot of people who spread positive news, including solutions on the internet. Take as an example Zero waste man, the personal journey of Hendrik who is making his carbon footprint smaller.

 

Source: CNN World, Story on May 29, 2019, by Ushar Daniele and Helen Regan

Photo Source: Pixabay

 

Our world knows many problems and most are men made. Besides the plastic overload, our planet is suffering there is another serious problem in many places. Air pollution poses a grave health hazard. You might like to also read the following post.

Amazing Solutions for the Air Pollution in our World

Comments

Stella

It is so ridiculous getting plastic waste that has been exported back to the county. Those country that are in support of plastic recycling turned out to be the most dirty country among others. This made them not to excape the risk of deadly disease. It would be a great idea to ban or reduce the usage of plastic container. This will go a long way in helping global health. Thanks for this review.

Jun 04.2019 | 07:20 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Stella,

    Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    There are many ridiculous things going on in our world. Having 2 websites and therefore investigating here and there I come upon these absurd things which prompted me to write a post. My world view has changed quite a bit during these last 2 and a half years. We have to aware of the fact that things quite often are different from what they seem to be.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 05.2019 | 02:44 pm

jacobs2

Hello, your article on How to stop the idiocy of plastic pollution policies is very interesting.  Plastic is indeed killing an important part of our ecosystem beginning with sea-life and sea fish. Turtles, fishes with plastic in their stomachs kill those animals. 
I am glad to hear that many countries were we dumped our garbage, are more and more making a point of not accepting this plastic garbage anymore. In that sense, it is remarkable to observe more and more incidents between countries of destination of the garbage plastic and the western world. E.g. Malaysia and the Philipines are top examples. 
I hope that we will be quickly able to recycle all the plastic and avoid mixing it with E-waste for example.

Jun 04.2019 | 07:32 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Jacob,

    It is sad to see that the human race is so destructive. Our environment is being polluted and this is our habitat, I do not understand it. Future generations will accuse us of not taking better care of Mother Earth. Many of our actions cannot be made undone and have far-reaching consequences.

    This plastic issue is so silly that it is difficult to believe that tons of plastic waste is shipped overseas. It is high time that each country finds its own green methods to dispose of their waste.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 05.2019 | 02:51 pm

Fahim Shahriar

I must say it is a very important article in the present context. The wildlife is in danger because of this plastic. We can see some initiatives has been taken by some countries to get rid of this problem but still a lot to do. I am from Bangladesh, where only a few people are aware of this issue. We really have to think about this, maybe we need to find an alternative for plastic. The mother earth would be a better place to live if we are concerned and taking actions of this issue. Thanks for the article. 

Jun 04.2019 | 07:39 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Fahim,

    Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment on my post. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    It is really urgent that everybody becomes aware of the damage we are causing to fauna and flora. When you see photos of seals with a plastic ring around their necks literally choking them it hurts me. Birds and turtles eating plastic and starving, too sad. We do this and should be ashamed of our actions.

    This planet is a beautiful place but we are destroying its beauty.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 05.2019 | 03:05 pm

Pentrental

Uncontrolled waste is something that should not be tolerated and it’s unfortunate that it gets into the ocean and affects those countries who are not at fault. I commend your efforts here in bringing awareness to this potentially dire trend. We in my house have been reusing our own cloth bags at the grocery store for some time now and I hope that it makes a least a slight difference. My only question for CNN would be how can blame be pinpointed? For example, if a Canadian person or company buys an American product and tosses it into the ocean off the Canadian shoreline or from a Canadian ship, and vice versa, is America to blame? Though this is a very serious issue I do feel that declaring war is a bit drastic on the Philippines’ part. Thank you again for shedding light on this very important topic.

Jun 04.2019 | 07:56 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon,

    It certainly would have been too much to start a war about plastic waste but when you look at history wars were started because of ego, or false information, etc. I think the President of the Philippines had a bad day and that this plastic issue was the last drop. 

    Each country should be responsible for their own stuff. There are many ways to diminish plastic use. One can recycle and make it so that it is biodegradable. It is high time we get our act together before we drown in our own plastic. Let’s clean up this beautiful planet.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 05.2019 | 03:15 pm

Linda Frankson

Dearest Taetske, I much agree to disagree, Agree that we are overloaded with plastic and not one country is at fault but all the world is involved in this dilemma. Petrol chemicals are where this waste has come from.

We accepted plastics in the world as a blessing to take the place of glass not knowing what problem we were going to face.

Here is BC Canada our municipalities have spent a huge amount of money on recycling and teaching others how to recycle efficiently. Not only that but the school system also.

Now, I cannot talk for big recycling firms where they send their recycling but as far as I know, pop bottles go back to their origin as does the aluminum bottling and glass cardboard, ex-ex. All types of plastic are being recycled and people use cloth bags brought from home for their shopping. There has been huge progress in this area.

I know that everything is wrapped in plastic and for shipping, there are sticky plastics that are wrapped around shipping boxes. Foam is also used for shipping this is a huge concern.

There are plastic bins for storage, plastic garbage disposals in our homes. Plastic is now being weaved into materials like tent outdoor equipment like windbreakers, footwear and now we are finding that petrol chemicals that are extremally toxic for the human race are in effect bombarding us with their toxic waste and it doesn’t stop there.

This topic is a giant that looks like there is no end to it. I agree that we need to take care of our own plastic waste.

Here you have covered many dilemmas that the world is facing and it is astronomical. I
admire your work and strong efforts to make known these problems.

with regards Linda

Jun 06.2019 | 10:19 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Linda,

    Thank you for your super long and good comment. It is indeed very sad that we have yet to understand what we are doing to the environment and ultimately to ourselves.

    For sure one should not go shopping and buy fruits and vegetables which come in their own wrapping. Mother Nature has got it so nicely organized but we always think we can do better.

    There are alternatives to plastic and these alternatives do not contaminate. It is high time we start using these new materials and clean up our world. It is the same as with green energy. It is possible but it takes quite a long time till all people are convinced of the necessity to get this plastic pollution under control.

    It cannot be that countries get in such embarrassing situations. I find it rather painful to watch. When you think that those container ships pollute already by making these silly trips shoving plastic from one place to another. It is a pitiful spectacle.

    Our beautiful world needs tremendous cleanup. I hope it will happen soon. I hope to see you again and thank you for your kind words.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 07.2019 | 06:34 pm

Sylvia Mann

Dear Taetske,
The plastic pollution is coming back to us to bite us in the behind. Each of the western counties knows this for decades and they still did nothing to change it in time. It is a sad fact that the human race only does something when it is already 5 minutes past twelfth. I personally was embarrassed to hear about Canada’s involvement since the Federal government has Climate change and overall pollution to be reduced on its agenda. Anyway, people are being brainwashed but do awaken now day by day.
Mother Nature too, is fighting back with full force and it is up to us to acknowledge and accept it that it is our own doing and if we like it or not that we are the one who has to do the work.
I only hope and wish that we can safe the planet for our future generation, it is our duty, our responsibility. I personally do as much as I can but I also have to admit that I am too have and can improve to do better. One step at the time.
Thank you, Taetske for this eye-opening article.
Namaste
Sylvia

Jun 11.2019 | 04:44 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Sylvia,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment, it is really appreciated.

    We should be bitten more often in our behind. It seems we need it as otherwise, we are not becoming aware that soon it will be too late to save our planet. All countries carry the responsibility to make and keep our environment clean and safe for future generations. Up till now, we are not doing a good job.

    There are also positive things happening in our world. People and companies alike trying to solve this problem of plastic overload.
    Many new products are coming on the market made from recycled plastic or substitutes for plastic. With a little bit of luck, not all is lost.

    Hope to see you again Sylvia.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 11.2019 | 08:06 pm

Rowan

Nothing but logic and good hearted words. When I visited Indonesia the plastic and garbage situation was horrid. It was actually called “Garbage season” by the locals in Jakarta, I was blown away that I am no longer watching National Geographic. Seeing all this waste and marine life being damaged made having a vacation difficult. 

My girlfriend and i have cut down on our plastics and consumption but are still working on methods to make sure we are only getting what we really need. I stand behind other countries decisions to refuse to take on first world countries garbage, what a crock of total insanity eh?

After plastic is air pollution, I know a few people who have lung issues and they have never smoked a cigarette in their life. Where would you say is the most contaminated for air pollution in the world?

Jul 06.2019 | 07:10 am

    Taetske

    Good Morning Rowan,

    Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    I can imagine seeing all this garbage must have been horrible and at the same time eye-opening. I live in the south of Spain and even if there are still problems with wastewater treatment and garbage it has improved a lot over the years.

    Each country is responsible for their own garbage, environment, etc. Some countries have advanced a lot but sadly quite a few are far behind. When one administration tries to go green the next one changes course which is really bad. 

    At the bottom of my post, you will see a post on air pollution you will find your answer there. We live in a crazy world, especially when talking about trees which are our oxygen providers. Globally it is estimated there are 420 trees per person. Finland has 4.500 trees per citizen so the country can boast around 22 billion trees. Somewhere else on the planet trees are chopped down by the millions, that makes one think.

    On the sidebar below my photo, you will see a widget save the planet, have a look, for once something positive.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jul 06.2019 | 11:48 am

Paul

Dear Taetske,

Wow, thanks a lot for the informative article. As always, you covered all the details and every single time I read an article of yours I learn so much new information!

Hats off to Malaysia and Philippines! You are correct, India plans to ban all single-use plastics by the years 2022 and already Govt is working on it. You might be aware I am from India and in the state where I am living a few weeks before they banned the usage of plastics.

Felt really bad after watching the video you embedded. We need to realize this world is not only for humans it’s also for all other species.

You not only addressed the problem but you have also provided the solution, thanks a lot.

Thank you for sharing this article. It’s very insightful and enlightening.

Much Success!

Paul

Jul 06.2019 | 07:32 am

    Taetske

    Good Morning Paul,

    Thank you for visiting again, always nice to see you.

    The world we live in nowadays is very complex, everything is related and what we do has consequences short term. Often the long term consequences are not understood, future generations might find out about them the hard way and then wonder what we were doing 100 years back.

    On both my websites I write about things I hear about, bother or really worry me and that often makes me sad as my websites will not make a big difference. Still, it is good to write because when I hear some people comment not having known about the dangers of Roundup then again I think it was worth my effort.

    I always say if we all do a little it will make a difference. That is why I am happy to have come across bUnited recently, have a look at the green widget below my photo. I love the concept of helping the planet and people. United our voice will be heard.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jul 06.2019 | 11:31 am

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