Sunvoice

EDITORIAL: We Need To Up The Ante In The Battle To Reduce Our Use Of Plastics

The use of plastics is ever increasing in Fiji and poses a serious threat to marine life and the environment. They are part of almost everything we do and use.
14 Jun 2018 12:16
EDITORIAL: We Need To Up The Ante In The Battle To Reduce Our Use Of Plastics

The use of plastics is ever increasing in Fiji and poses a serious threat to marine life and the environment.

They are part of almost everything we do and use. They have brought much convenience to our lives.

However a report says that convenience comes at a huge price as plastic pollution is everywhere on the planet, even 10,994 kilometres down in the deepest part of the ocean.

The Department of Environment has revealed that a minimum number of plastic bags used annually in Fiji is around 50 million to 60 million.

Fiji Revenue Customs Service has collected a total of $3,521,239 on plastic bag environment levy which means that the levy was on 35,212,390 plastics.

Launching the National Environment Campaign for the Northern Division at the Civic Centre in Labasa this week, the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Parveen Bala, said the risks of plastic bags were enormous not only to human health but to the environment and marine life.

Experts shared that plastic products take hundreds of years to decompose as they have strong chemical bonds that simply make them last longer.

The simplest plastic normally used in grocery store bags takes at least 100 years to break down while the complex ones take between 100 to 600 years or even beyond that to decompose.

During this period, these plastic products continue to damage the environment until they are completely decomposed.

The United Nations Environment Program estimates that some eight million tons of plastic waste end up in the oceans each year, while a 2016 World Economic Forum report projects that there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the oceans by 2050 if current trends continue.

Mr Bala is correct when he said, “the risk of plastic bags are enormous not only to human health but to the environment and marine life.”

Research has shown that rural communities have often used plastics, especially plastic bags as a means of lighting fire, which thus releases some very toxic gases in the environment.

It is a fact that they do not give much thought that when lighting a match to burn plastics it can release toxic fumes into the environment, in turn taking the air pollution to much higher levels.

The Government is leading the fight to beat plastic pollution.

We need to keep our environment clean and take steps to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural environment, our wild life and our own health.

Plastic Bags are one of the modern conveniences that we seem unable to live without.

It is time that we take collective action to protect and defend our environment

This year’s World Environment Day theme: “Beat Plastic Pollution” is a call for all of us to come together to combat one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time.

It is a timely reminder to us all on the increasing magnitude of the plastic pollution faced worldwide today.

The message is clear: We need to up the ante in the battle against  the use of plastics or get overcome by the plastic invasion.

MAIKA BOLATIKI

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj



Laybuy it 5squares


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Covid 19 - SPC
Total
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper