Stop Plastic Pollution for Those Dead Whales

Marine litter problems should not be underestimated, recently, zoologists of Norway find a whale on the beach in the southwest of the country. It was found that there were nearly 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste in the whale's stomach.

  

The researchers pointed out that these undigested plastic waste is likely to be the head reason why the whale ran aground on the beach of Sotra island. The whale weighs about 2 tons, 6 meters in length, it is an adult beaked whale. 


A same thing happen in the south Granada of Spain on June 2016, a 4.5 ton sperm whale was found dead on the beach,  the local National Research Council biologists immediately rushed to the scene after receiving the message, trying to find out reason. When the dissection come to the stomach, the stomach which full of rubbish shocked everyone, inspection results show that garbage weigh about 17 kilograms, including sheets, plastic products etc.


According to a report published by The New Plastics Economy, “Each year, at least eight million tons of plastics leak into the ocean”, there are some 150 million tons of plastic in the ocean”. This is an alarming number!


In recent years, the white pollution caused by plastic products, especially the EPS, is getting more and more serious. The proposal of the Expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPS) waste hurts the environment badly. Burning chemicals EPS destroys the atmospheric ozonosphere. And the buried pile cannot be degraded and thus bring some damages to the geologic structure. We paid a heavy price for using these EPS.

And now people started to look for a new way to solve this tough challenge. It has been a common policy for many countries to adopt the degradable eco-environmental packing material with a hope to avoid worsening the white pollution and improve people’s living area.


Some Relevant Policies and Regulations

Some cities in America including Berkeley, Boston and San Francisco and other cities have banned the petroleum-based plastic products. New York City issued this policy in Jan 1, 2015. From July 1 on, restaurants, shops and manufactures are not allowed to hold some EPS, like foam lunch box and even the foam packing filling grains. This action got nationwide attention and strong support from cities and soon spread to the whole America. The New York City Department of Sanitation collected 28500 tons EPS in the year of 2014, 90% of those came from foam lunch boxes.

San Jose, the western city in California is the biggest city to forbid using the EPS for packing the food. According to the newly passed act, from Jan 1, 2014 on, the chain store of San Jose are not allowed to offer the EPS tableware to the customers. And the foam tableware is facing the same fate from Jan 1, 2015 in the local restaurants. So far, there have been 71 cities and counties follow the step to say “no” the white pollution.

Japanese government also promotes the biodegradable packing material for the past few years. The acts of Biotechnology Strategy Outline and Biomass Japan Comprehensive Strategy both mentioned that promotion the biodegradable packing material is a significant project.


Go for Pulp Molding Paper Plate

Pulp molding product can be recycled and does no harm to the environment, it is a ideal replacement of EPS, which might be best solution to solve white pollution problem.


Advantages of Pulp molding product Tableware
1) The raw material can be collected easily at low cost. The raw materials are mainly the fiber pulp of annual herbaceous plants, like bagasse pulp, straw pulp, bamboo pulp and wood pulp. Taking these pulps as raw material won’t cause any bad impact on the earth due to their strong regeneration capacity.
2) The processing technology is simple and practical. Less water and power used, no waste water discharged, no pollution.
3) The products are clean and neat enough to pack the food and meet the testing requirement of FDA/SGS.

What Can We Do
Buy less plastic stuff, especially when we have lunch or dinner in canteen or restaurant. If we buy the plastic plate or food box, try to use it for more times. When we discard them, try to put them in the right place in case they become a direct pollution in ocean or our living environment.
At this stage, pulp molding tableware is not that used widely, but it is an irresistible trend in the coming future. We sincerely hope that our government will publish more rules and regulations to tackle the plastic pollution. Meanwhile we are supposed to use less plastic material products and try to use the alternatives, like pulp molding products.