Think of the sea and keep Iceland clean in Plastic Free September

   9/14/2017
Caitlin

Did you know that all of the plastic produced every year on Earth weighs as much as all of the people on Earth?

During Plastic Free September Landvernd is working to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the seas.

Plastic does not decompose in nature; it breaks down into microplastic particles. If plastic is not recycled, it ends up most often in landfills or in the sea where it threatens the health of animals and other living things. By recycling plastic and choosing to refuse disposable plastic containers, you contribute to reducing plastic pollution.

This year International Coastal Cleanup Day is on the same day as the Day of Icelandic Nature: September 16, 2017!

For this occasion, Landvernd encourages individuals, groups and organizations to organize their own coast cleanups in September. Cleanups are just as good on land as by the sea because 80% of plastic found in the ocean comes from land.

Landvernd can offer advice and support for those interested in getting involved. You can start by finding out more about the project Keep Iceland Clean here: hreinsumisland.is. You can register your cleanup here and it will show up on the map of Iceland on Landvernd‘s website.

Here are all the places that have been clean up this year!

Plastic pollution in the seas is as big a challenge in Iceland as it is in other countries in the world.

Every resident of Iceland consumes on average 40 kg of plastic bags and containers every year. Only a small portion of this plastic is recycled while the majority of it ends in landfill. Because plastic does not decompose, all plastic that has ever been produced still exists. In fact, all of the plastic on Earth today weighs as much as all of the people on Earth! Because it takes such a long time for plastic to break down into microplastics, you could say that all the plastic that has ever been produced still exists, if it hasn‘t been burnt.

Every year hundreds of thousands of tonns of unsorted waste end in landfill in Iceland. This waste produces methane gas which is an especially harmful greenhouse gas. Only one landfill in Iceland collects this methane instead of releasing it straight into the atmostphere. Our waste is directly contributing to climate change!

We can make a different by working together. Let‘s choose to refuse disposable plastic bags and containers and recycle all other plastic waste.

Landvernd is counting on you to take part in Plastic Free September!

 

Reference

http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/advances/3/7/e1700782.full.pdf

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