The Environment

Climate Change & Plastic Waste

Climate Change

Climate change is the variation in average weather conditions and is caused by several factors including human-driven activity, which has been spiralling out of control for decades.

Whilst there are many gases that contribute, the issue stems from the increase in CO² levels, primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of land. This process heats the atmosphere that helps to regulate the Earth’s temperature. The major contributing industries are agriculture, transportation, electricity, and commercial. Transportation contributes 21% of all global carbon emissions and is the second largest source of anthropogenic carbon.

Air travel contributes 2.5% of all global emissions.

This causes an increase in extreme weather patterns and an overall warming of the average global temperature which, unless serious action is taken, is likely to permanently compromise both the way we live and the natural habitat around us.

Plastics

Single-use plastics are at the forefront of the campaign for being environmentally friendly, thanks to the likes of Blue Planet II and a swathe of online viral videos showing the sheer volume of which have ended up in our oceans and communities.

The problem is getting bigger; an estimated 50 billion plastic bottles alone end up in landfill or the oceans every year.

In the UK and other rich countries, lots of different types of plastic bottles containing everyday items such as water, shower gel, aerosols and cleaning products can be recycled. Advances in technology, awareness and funding mean a record number of plastic containers can be used again and do not end up incinerated or in landfill.

However, this is not the case in many poor and middle-income countries, many of which are in Africa, where it is common to find a lack of recycling against a backdrop of high levels of waste, much of which is easily visible in and around towns and villages. The problem is exacerbated by a chronic lack of funding, which disproportionately impacts poorer communities, who more likely to live in or around excessive volumes of waste. This increases the threat of disease, particularly to young and vulnerable people.

1 recycled tin can saves enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours

1 recycled plastic bottle saves enough energy to power a lightbulb for 3 hours

1 recycled glass bottle saves enough energy to power a computer for 25 mins