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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Plastic Can Now Be Found At The Top And Bottom Of The World

Plastic Can Now Be Found At The Top And Bottom Of The World

Plastic litters the world from the top of Mount Everest to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) now stretches 600,000 square miles and is approximately twice the size of Texas according to a study published in Scientific Reports.

There are many different organizations around the world that try and lower their plastic usage and the plastic usage of others. These organizations are becoming more and more effective as more of them appear around the world and work together to lower plastic usage.

The Mariana Trench is located in the Pacific Ocean about 2,000 kilometers west of Japan. On April 28, 2019, Victor Vescovo, an American businessman, dove down to the Mariana Trench, setting a world record for going the deepest in the world, in the DSV Limiting Factor submarine. Vescovo spent four hours on the bottom of the ocean looking around the bottom finding new species of animals alongside with plastic wrappers and bags.

“It was very disappointing to see obvious human contamination of the deepest point in the ocean,” Vescovo said in an interview with Independent.

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There are many organizations around the world that are trying to reduce plastic in the world so that it does not end up in the ocean or at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

&Beyond, a travel organization based in South Africa, with camps in Africa, South America, Asia, and the Indian Ocean Islands are is an organization that is committed to reducing their plastic usage.

Plastic litters the world from the top of Mount Everest to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) now stretches 600,000 square miles and is approximately twice the size of Texas according to a study published in Scientific Reports.

There are many different organizations around the world that try and lower their plastic usage and the plastic usage of others. These organizations are becoming more and more effective as more of them appear around the world and work together to lower plastic usage.

The Mariana Trench is located in the Pacific Ocean about 2,000 kilometers west of Japan. On April 28, 2019, Victor Vescovo, an American businessman, dove down to the Mariana Trench, setting a world record for going the deepest in the world in the DSV Limiting Factor submarine. Vescovo spent four hours on the bottom of the ocean looking around the bottom finding new species of animals alongside with plastic wrappers and bags.

“It was very disappointing to see obvious human contamination of the deepest point in the ocean,” Vescovo said in an interview with Independent.

There are many organizations around the world that are trying to reduce plastic in the world so that it does not end up in the ocean or at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

&Beyond, a travel organization based in South Africa, with camps in Africa, South America, Asia, and the Indian Ocean Islands are is an organization that is committed to reducing their plastic usage.

Photo by &Beyond

One of &Beyond’s main focuses in their camps in Botswana is what substitutes they can use for plastic, given that Botswana has a law that bans plastic bags and plastic water bottles.

The Boswanaian government made a law that came into effect on November 1, 2018, that does not allow any plastic bags or plastic water bottles in the country as a way of forcing the country and the people who live there to lower their plastic usage. These laws were made to have the country become more eco-friendly as well as trying to keep their national parks and reserves as clean as possible.

Once they were able to find substitutes, such as ceramic glassware and stainless steel, &Beyond started to implement these changes to their other camps around the world. One of these substitutes that has had a very big impact is their glass water bottles. &Beyond use glass water bottles instead of any other kind of water bottle.

Since the plastic ban, &Beyond reported in their Impact Review that they have “reduced plastic water bottles in Botswana by 64,020 bottles in 2018.”

&Beyond now mainly uses their own water bottling plants, which can be found at 90 percent of camps, to be more eco-friendly.

“We’ve installed 18 water bottling plants across our operations in Africa and South America, reducing the use of plastic water bottles by 615,298 per year,” said Jason King, the Regional Director of Southern Africa for &Beyond in an interview with Dateline.

&Beyond encourages other organizations and their guests to become more eco-friendly.

“In Botswana, our air charter company Mack Air has recently introduced the ‘cool freight’ solution, which uses specially designed containers to keep items fresh while being flown into camp. [This] has significantly reduced the waste of single-use packaging, eliminating the use of approximately 150 cardboard boxes per lodge each month,” King said.

&Beyond is both very similar and very different from other plastic aware organizations, such as Plastic Oceans International.

Photo by &Beyond

Plastic Oceans International is an organization stationed in California whose focus is on removing as much plastic form the oceans as they can, becoming more eco-friendly and inspiring people to want to lower their plastic usage.

“The shared goal with other organizations similar to ours is to end plastic pollution in the ocean and to stop plastic from going into the ocean, 80 to 90 percent of the plastic in the ocean comes from land-based resources or places,” said Julie Anderson, the Global Executive Director of Plastic Oceans International.

There are many small things that individuals can do that will lower their plastic usage, and if everyone lowers their plastic usage, it will have a big impact on the world.

“Having one person give up one plastic straw might seem like nothing however if  7 million people give up one plastic straw, you can truly see the impact that it will have,” Anderson said.

Plastic Oceans International, similarly to &Beyond, organizes many beach and ocean clean-ups.  There are many different kinds of substitutes for plastic that people can use to become more eco-friendly.

“I use the beeswax paper as a substitute for plastic wrap and new reusable sandwich bags,” Anderson said.

Students have learned how to have a very big impact on the world. Students represent the next generation and believe that they can have a very big impact on the world.

Bye Bye Plastic is an organization started by two students Melati and Isabel when they were 10 and 12. This organization started in Bali in hopes to start to rid the plastic bags present in the world today.

Bye Bye Plastic has now turned into a well-known place where other students can start their own little plastic project in their home city or town, anywhere in the word. They now have students who are running smaller scale projects all over the world.

“It’s up to us, our generation is here and we are ready to have an active part in the decisions that are being made today. It’s our persistence, commitment, and pure passion and intention that allowed us to get this far!” said Isabel and Melati.

Piktochart by Emily Muenzer

By Emily Muenzer

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