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The Fiji Government is to ban all single-use plastics in effect from 1 January 2020.
This is a major step towards reducing the problem of plastic pollution in Fiji and the world.
Plastic seemed like an amazing invention in the beginning. It could keep food fresh for days, led to better packaging that allowed items to last longer on grocery store shelves. But we forgot the most important thing – plastic disposal.
For years plastic has been discarded into our landfills and dumped into our oceans. Plastic is now present in every part of our oceans. According to the United Nations, at least 800 species worldwide are affected by marine debris, and as much as 80% of that litter is plastic.
Fish, seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals can become entangled in or swallow plastic debris, causing suffocation, starvation, and drowning. Worse is that plastic does not disintegrate, but breaks down into smaller and smaller particles. Marine organisms get trapped in them and suffocate to death. Smaller pieces are ingested and then travel up the food chain to our plates. We are now eating seafood with plastic.
According to a 2016 study published by the World Economic Forum, every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean, this equates to a garbage truck full of plastic being dumped into the ocean every minute. If the trend is not stopped, the study predicts that number could increase to four dump trucks of plastic entering the ocean every minute.
Fiji has taken a major leap by joining the fight against plastic pollution with countries such as Papua New Guinea, the UK, Kenya, Taiwan, Zimbawe and others.
The ban is expected to have a strong, positive impact on the environment, with more alternatives to plastic bags soon to be coming onto the market.
SOURCE: MAI LIFE MAGAZINE
Pacific Islands News Association
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