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A few points to ponder as the global community marks Earth Day ‘24

Nearly 38,000,000 tonnes of new plastic are produced for market every year. Humans produce more than 350,000,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year. This number has doubled since 2015. Plastic waste never goes away. Whether stored in the air, buried, dumped into the ocean or incinerated - plastic waste just breaks up.

Microplastics and the even smaller nanoplastics are everywhere in our environment - in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink including marketed bottled water. They have also been found in unborn babies, in the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean and high up on Mount Everest.

There is growing evidence from research and statistics that micro plastics affect cell development in humans and are linked to lung disease, cancer, a number of autoimmune diseases and fertility issues.

Over 13,000 thousand chemicals have been associated with the production of plastics. Of the 7,000 tested to determine their human or environmental impacts, 50% contain one or more hazardous properties of concern. Plastics make up 80% of ocean pollutants. They take a toll on sealife by affecting diet, inhibiting movement and causing disease.

It is estimated that by 2050, plastics in the sea will outweigh the fish. Worldwide - 17,000 plastic bottles are bought every minute.

500,000,000 (that’s a half-billion ) straws are discarded every day. 500,000,000,000 (that’s 500 billion) plastic bags are used every year. Does our PLANET have a chance against plastics? The problems surrounding plastics will be further explained in the documentary “The Story of Plastic”, which can be viewed at the Library on Monday, April 22. There will also be an opportunity for discussion around what we as individuals and as a community might do in the face of this ever-increasing global problem. (Please see the ad in this edition of the Rimbey Review, and/or the posters around Town for particulars.)