Kindly have a look around your surrounding environment right now.
Like literally do that.
Am waiting for you to do that….
Have you done that???
Now, I am sure you can now agree with me when I say that there is at least one item near you that is made from some plastic ingredient.
Plastic comes in handy in the creation of some very useful equipment that we use, but it is unfair to show people the petals and not the thorns.
The inspiration to write this article was from the theme of this year’s World Environment Day.
If you are there wondering why we celebrate this day, am here to inform you that; it is as a way of creating awareness on the importance of protecting and conserving our environment. We celebrate to inspire more people to join in protection of the environment. We also celebrate the day as a way to instil positive social change on our perceptions about the environment. And lastly, we do celebrate this day so that we can show and tell the actions that have been taken across the world in protecting our environment.
Plastic bags had been a thorn in environmental protection efforts. The fact that these bags are less durable and are easily carried away by wind was and still is problematic in the collection of solid waste. I would love to applaud the National Environmental Management Authority of Kenya for the good work they are doing in ensuring the implementation of the plastic bag ban. This ban has been significantly positive to our society. I personally have witnessed clearer waterways and less solid waste in our environment.
See, the thing about plastic is that, it is an artificially created polymer compound which can survive many centuries before nature is able to degrade it. And while plastic doesn’t have a direct impact on the environment, the over-accumulation of plastic waste ends up degrading our environment. The result of this plastic pollution has resulted in a lot of money being used to control solid waste. Also, areas that were once tourist attraction sites have due to poorly managed solid waste, become less attractive for tourist hence reducing the revenue collected from tourism.
So, how is plastic accumulation in the environment a disadvantage to us and our surrounding environment?
Plastic accumulation has a great effect on both the terrestrial environment(land) and aquatic environment(water). When solid waste made from plastics are dumped in our landfills/dumpsites and when they interact with water, they forms some hazardous chemicals. This water goes underground through a process known as infiltration during the water cycle and end ups degrading the water. Plastics also causes a lot of clogging on our waterways resulting to flooding during the rainy season. (we all know how this one has affected most of us who live in the urban centers). Also, plastic waste that finds its way in aquatic environments is a threat to the life of many aquatic animals.
The goal for this environmental awareness and action is to ensure that we all learn how reducing, reusing, and recycling can help you, your community, and the environment by saving money, energy, and natural resources.
Reducing and Reusing means consuming or buying less products that are made from plastics. This has always proven to be the most effective way to go when managing solid waste. Also, it helps saving a lot of energy, money and material, as creating new products is an expense.
Recycling means collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. This greatly helps in reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills which also saves us the money for the collection of waste.
It is possible for Kenya to have proper implementation of waste management systems in our major landfills such as the construction of Semi aerobic Landfills. However, this effort to beat pollution requires each individual to take the responsibility upon him or herself to ensure that the environment is well taken care of.
Let’s all get involved in protecting our environment. Be part of the group that is not selfish of sharing the resources we are currently enjoying, with the future generations. That is what Sustainable Development entails.
Continue the conversation on Twitter