The ‘Big Picture’ is essentially the reverse of the ‘Little Picture’. In as much as every positive thing we do is a small step towards giant leaps for mankind, every negative thing we do is a small step in the opposite direction.
As an exmaple, think about the lifecycle of the plastic bottle. They are cheap and convenient, but they are also horrible items from an environmental standpoint. Let’s face it though we all use them!
Due to recycling and waste management in developed nations bottles stand a good chance of ending up somewhere responsible but if you consider that same bottle in some of the developing nations around the world the chances are the bottle will not end up in a bin (because there aren’t any) but rather in a drain or ditch and then in a river and finally in an ocean!
This is not a ‘blame it on other countries’ rant but a simple explanation of the lifecycle of a typical plastic bottle. I have not done any research on this but if you consider the population size and climatic conditions in the developing nations there are almost certainly many more bottles being disposed of in these countries on a daily basis.
If we take it one step further every plastic bottle that floats into the ocean, irrespective of where it comes from, starts to break down. This plastic ends up in areas of the ocean such as the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ or ultimately as tiny fragments of plastic that get eaten by fish and other sea creatures.
And guess what this plastic, once eaten by aquatic animals, then gets harvested and sold to us as fresh fish! So to answer the conundrum of this post that “every plastic bottle ends up somewhere” the answer is that some of this plastic comes full circle and ends up inside us.
Research carried out by the Medical University of Vienna in 2018 found, during a pilot study of eight people from around the world, that every single one of them had small concentrations microplastics (<5mm) in their guts. More information on this survey and the parties involved can be found at www.meduniwien.ac.at
As humans are top of the food chain it is inevitable that we, as all creatures in that food chain, are ultimately consuming some of those bottles – the original source of the problem.
Makes you think doesn’t it! Perhaps its time to start using a reusable water bottle……..