Waste Planet

The earth sinks into garbage

The earth can compensate for a certain amount of pollution, including CO2 emissions. However, the Global Footprint Network (GFN) has calculated that if all people on earth were to live as we do in Germany, we would need 3 earths for this. This does not even take into account the pollution of the earth’s ecosystem with plastic. Because it can take between 100 and 500 years until a plastic bag has completely disintegrated, depending on the plastic used. Between 1950 and 2015, 8.3 billion tons of plastic were produced worldwide. Of this, 4.9 billion tons are stored in landfills or in the environment. Officially, the recycling rate in Germany is 40%, a third of which ends up in the recipient countries for waste exports. There, they are only partially recycled and often end up in poorly shielded landfills. Interestingly, however, they are listed in the statistics of the Federal Environment Agency under the heading “recycled”. In the environment, plastics are mechanically pulverized to so-called microplastics. The smaller these microplastic particles are, the easier and deeper they penetrate into organisms, including the human organism. A study commissioned by the WWF has shown that each person ingests up to 5 g of microplastics per week, which corresponds roughly to a plastic credit card. Particularly finely ground microplastics are also called nanoplastics, which can even penetrate into human and animal cells due to their small size. The consequences are still largely unknown.

Source: Tagesschau.de