Posted on 31 May 2018
Have you ever thought about all the plastic we use every day: toothbrush, water bottles, glasses, straw, bags of all kinds, just to name a few? Where do all these objects end once we do not use them anymore?
Letter to readers by Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, Country Director - WWF Madagascar - Express de Madagascar, May 30
Like every year, Madagascar is preparing to celebrate World Environment Day (WED) on June 5th. Especially here in our country, year in and year out, the JME is always celebrated in a rush of festivals and other events, great speeches and communication operations. World Days are, it is true, good opportunities to inform, spread messages and encourage people to act for a good cause. But does the momentum and the commitment aroused really last all the rest of the year?
Since the theme of the next JME is "beat plastic pollution", let's talk about plastic. For me, plastic pollution is the image of a sea turtle suffocating and struggling, his head in a bag. Have you ever thought about all the plastic we use every day: toothbrush, water bottles, glasses, straw, bags of all kinds, just to name a few? Where do all these objects end once we do not use them anymore? This waste is currently forming what we call the 7th continent. Somewhere in our oceans, they accumulate and end up as vast as a continent. Worn by the waves and the sun's rays, the plastic waste is fragmented into tiny particles forming a soup of small pieces of plastic drifting. Some of these particles end up in seafood and fish, which in turn could end up on our plates ... Not only does plastic damage nature, animals and plants, but it also penetrates our food chain.
By 2025, it is estimated that 50 to 130 million tons of plastic could be dumped annually into the oceans. One effect would be the increase of plastic consumption in developing countries, such as ours, which are struggling to set up waste collection and recycling. Since 2015, we have a law prohibiting the production, import, trade and use of plastic bags of less than 50 microns. Where are we in the application of this law? As for the household garbage that accumulates on every corner of our big cities, are there plans to collect, recycle, manage, in short, to allow our children to know what cleanliness is? Are we going to make big speeches about plastic pollution during this JME and spend the rest of the year indifferent to the litter of all kinds strewing our streets, our roads and our campaigns?
For those who want to do more than a symbolic gesture of June 5, reuse your plastic for groceries bags or replace them with a soubique, use other receptacles to carry your water for the day or for lunch, donate your plastic bottles to young companies and associations that recycle its such as Fakotory, Green'Kool and recently the Akany Avoko Ambohidratrimo that make footstools with your used bottles ... there are a thousand ways to fight plastic pollution every day. Currently, Vintsy Club, a fervent advocate for the environment, is advocating for the adoption of a law on plastic waste management.
So have courage and act, so that it lasts more than a day!