By: Asim Nawaz Abbasi
It’s pretty much easy to buy a what we call mineral water bottle with just few rupees that take few minutes of someone to finish it up to quench the thirst. But the alarming thing is; it takes around 450 years to break down that plastic bottle. This estimate comes from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Woods Hole Sea Grant.
The organizations compiled a data that categorize different kind of man made materials according to number of years they take to biodegrade in the sea. fishing line is on the top, taking up to 600 years to biodegrade, while disposable diapers take as long as plastic bottles i-e 450 years to break down.
Plastic shopping bags will take up to 20 years to break down, while Styrofoam takeaway coffee cups take 50 years, and cigarette butts take 10.
The sensitivity of the matter can be understood by the fact that around eight million metric tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year and it’s estimated that, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight.
Whilst, Pakistan is not in the list of top 12 countries which are polluting the oceans the most but if measure are not taken, It can hit the list in future because of thick population and tremendous use of plastic. The problem has not been taken into consideration till yet by the Government. And it is observed that millions of Plastic bags, bottles, diapers and cigarette butts are thrown in trash that eventually go to Lakes, Rivers and Sea effecting marine life. A mass level campaign should be initiated by the government to aware people about the hazardous consequences of using plastic for human as well as for marine life.
Being the conscious organization for the well being of humans and marine life World Economic Forum has already launched a partnership that aims at bringing businesses, international donors, national and local government, community groups and world-class experts together to collaborate on beating plastic pollution to stop the growth of plastic pollution by 2025.
Global Shaper Youth arm of the WEF can help by leaps and bounds to the government in chalking out a plan about mitigating the use of plastics in any form and help in implementing the strategies adopted by involving youth of the country and joining hands with other Civil Society Organizations.
The writer is Global Shaper at World Economic Forum and Editor in Chief of The Dayspring