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In lands I never saw -- they say
Immortal Alps look down --
Whose bonnets touch the firmament --
Whose sandals touch the town --

Meek at whose everlasting feet
A myriad daisy play --
Which, Sir, are you and which am I
Upon an August day?

Emily Dickinson
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AM/PM Session - 26 June 2018 - Plastic pollution

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,059 Teacher
We read an article about the effects of plastic pollution on the world around us:


We also read an article about a man who will spend six months swimming through the 'Great Pacific garbage patch' to raise awareness of this type of pollution:


Vocabulary Top 10:

unchecked - not stopped, slowed, or controlled : not checked

calamity - an event that causes great harm and suffering

choke - to become unable to breathe usually because something gets stuck in your throat or because the air is not good for breathing

landfill - a system in which waste materials are buried under the ground

undercut - to make (something) weaker or less effective

cutlery - forks, spoons, and knives used for serving and eating food

downstream - further along in a process

scalable - easy to make larger, more powerful, etc

gauge - to measure (something) exactly; to make a judgment about (something)

smog - fog mixed with smoke; a cloud of dirty air from cars, factories, etc., that is usually found in cities

Have you seen any changes in how people use plastic in your country?
How much plastic do you use every day?


  • javierjavier Posts: 287 Inactive
    @NatashaT Here where I live we have 5 containers in the streets, one for plastic and metal, another for glass, another for paper and cardboard, another for vegetable remains and another for the rest of the garbage, we have to separate garbage and Then throw it in its container
  • Tomi_OTomi_O Posts: 11 ✭✭
    Hi :)
    Here are a few my thinks and notes.

    This year in my country, the government has introduced a special fee for each companies whose are using plastic bags (single use).
    A company must pay a special fee "to protect the environments" as they wrote.
    This is, of course, a lie of the government.
    In my opinion, it is only the next hidden tax, which is about 200%.
    But this change has achieved the desired ecologicaly effect.
    In our company, the consumption of plastic bags decreased by 98%.

    We started using paper packaging.
    Because we wanted to avoid the complicate office works. What more important a customers like these new bags.
    So noone is crying for plastic bags.
    As you see - sometimes an fortuit decides about the new customs and good solves.

    Of course, there are many gaps and absurdities in this law.
    For example - we can easily use plastic bags made of thicker plastic.
    The new law says that these are not single-use bags.
    They think that if customer will pay 10 EUR CENTS then it will use the bag many time. I'm rather doubt!!!
    The next is : When I need one, two or three plastic bagses I need to pay this special fee. If I'm buying 100 or 1000 bagses - I'm avoiding this tax.
    Where is the logic???

    But the first step was done!
    Take care ;))
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,930 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It is interesting the fact that plastics are essentially made of two kinds of chemical elements: carbon and hydrogen.

    These two atoms, however, are also the main constituents of the fatty molecules which make up all human body's cells' membrane.

    So why can't we use these plastics' elements to build our body cells ?

    Because the carbon and hydrogen atoms present in the plastics, are arranged in strings of hydrocarbons, the polymers.

    The plastics polymers are inert, meaning that they don't react with other chemical compounds to be transformed or broken down in other simpler compounds.

    Therefore, when we eat microplastics accumulated, up the food chain, in fish, they can't be decomposed and finally absorbed by our enzymes.

    The microplastics remain unalterated in our body, perhaps circulating in our blood or settled somewhere.

    Are they dangerous for our health ?

    Researchers are still conducting their research: it seems that floating microparticles tend to repel water but absorb toxins, which could turn out harmful, at least to fish.

    It is unknown whether the toxins accumulate up the food chain, eventually impacting the humans' diet.

    Nonetheless, I read that plastic fragments have been found in mussels.

    Mussels are filtering and sedentary sea organisms, which means they eat whatever food their ' local restaurant ' serves them, never sniffing at the menu's dishes.

    The problem with mussels, is that, unlike fish, they are eaten whole, included gut.

    Then there's the problem with larger plastics debris on the land too.

    It is certainly an eyesore to see a beach littered with plastics: cotton buds, straws, cutlery, bags, wrappers, packaging, the list is endless.

    The problem, I read, is especially troubling in Eastern countries, where waste management isn't as effective as expected.

    The first step to cope with throw away plastics, is to pick them up as soon as they are disposed of, then send the refuse to recycling facilities.

    You can also think of bury them in landfill; in such a case, though, you have to ensure plastics don't contain toxic additives which could potentially leach out and eventually pollute streams.

    The only way to get rid of disposed plastics once and for all, is to burn it. When burnt it produces carbon dioxide, which is a gas responsible of the global climate warming and water.

    However, we could also get energy for housing heating from the combustion process.

    My opinion, is that we will never escape plastics, in any forms, as long as we continue relying on oil as our cars' fuel.

    Since my years at school I've learnt that plastics is a by-product of oil refinement; they have a well saying plastics is an independent industry, I don't believe this statement.

    Let's start off with electric cars and renewable sources' energies, and maybe a plastic-free world will definitely be at hand.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
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