Who cares if we mess up the planet for future generations? Surely we cannot possibly change anything as an individual. It was not our idea to package everything under the sun in tonnes of plastic was it? Anyway, pollution is mainly due to irresponsible multinational corporations and we all know that we have no control over their actions do we? Or do we?
These excuses could go on all day of course, however, when we bother to take a step back – it offers us a good opportunity to look at the way we act as global consumers. When we do, the picture is not nearly so black and white.
According to figures compiled by the World Bank, global consumers produce a staggering 3.5 million tonnes of plastic and solid waste each and every day. Yes, you read that correct – 3.5 million tonnes !
Whilst some of it can, and will, be recycled or incinerated to provide energy from waste, an enormous amount will either be buried in landfill sites, slowly breaking down over hundreds of years and leaching chemicals into the soil in the process, or, end up in the world’s oceans. There it will again slowly break down, eventually ending up as micro-particles and inevitably entering the food chain.
To illustrate the enormity of the issue, it is estimated that in the middle of the Pacific ocean there is now an island entirely made up of plastic waste. But wait for it – according to recent observations, it is three time the size of France ! You clearly do not need David Attenborough to convince you that this is indeed an environmental catastrophe on a global scale.
Going back to our opening paragraph, I would suggest that this should serve as a good incentive to be more aware of the long term impact of what, and how, we consume ! Of course our individual actions would be relatively small but, should we not take responsibility and start somewhere, rather than ignoring the problem just because it seems too big?
One person who did just that and has subsequently taken it to an entirely different level is Boyan Slat, a young Dutchman, budding entrepreneur and visionary. His initiative, ‘The Ocean Cleanup’, has become the platform for his bold idea to clean up the world’s oceans, by dragging a supersized boom, driven by wind and waves and capable of trapping industrial sized quantities of floating debris. This ocean harvest can subsequently be recycled or incinerated, providing energy. ( have a look at www.theoceancleanup.com)
Here at Maiiro, we are dependent on the ocean’s bounty for our products, which require the highest quality, seaweed derived, ingredients. We applaud Boyan’s magnificent initiative and wholeheartedly support his efforts, donating funds to further his company’s operations as and when we can.
Caring for our planet begins at home – just imagine if we all worked towards the same goal and did our little bit going forward. If we all change our habits just a little bit, there will be no problem too big to tackle.