A huge amount of plastic waste in the oceans, seas and rivers poses a danger for humans and for animals. Germany intends to deal with it and proposed his plan.
The story of a dead sperm whale in Indonesia, in the stomach, which found 6 kg of plastic (115 plastic cups, 25 plastic bags and broken 4 plastic bottles, two pairs of plastic flip-flops, etc.), shocked the Minister of environmental protection and nuclear safety of Germany Swanu Schulze (Svenja Schulze) to the core. What happened, unfortunately, not an isolated episode. Therefore, as the Minister said, “we need to radically change the situation with plastic garbage.”
As Germany offers to solve the problem at the international level
Germany has long advocated this initiative at events and international meetings and successfully offers its strategy. But the mere discussion of the situation in the G20 and the G7, the German government is not enough, says Schultz. Now Germany plans to virtually participate in preventing environmental pollution by waste of plastic. For this purpose the Ministry of environment in the next 10 years allocates 50 million euros. What exactly will this money be spent, is not known.
A large part of plastic trash is in the rivers of Asia. The largest of these is the longest and dirtiest. The Yangtze river, which originates in the mountains of Tibet, flows near large cities, such as Shanghai, and empties into the East China sea. In the waters of the Yangtze accumulates various plastic trash that is not collected and disposed of.
Germany, with its advanced experience in the field of recycling can help countries such as China. Federal Ministry for the environment wants to speak directly to those countries most affected, says Svenja Schulze. Countries such as India, China, Bangladesh, located on the shores of the most polluted rivers in Berlin can help their latest developments in the field of recycling of plastic waste for environmental protection. But in Germany the problem of plastic pollution of seas, lakes and rivers should not be ignored.
Germany has a plan
The Ministry of environment of Germany, presented his plan consisting of five main points, which will help to reduce the amount of plastic waste. According to the plan of Schultz, the German society should abandon habitual patterns of behavior in which is too much waste of plastic. And thus to show other countries an example of how to live without plastic. “Even if we don’t want our model of consumer behavior is replicated in developing countries,” says Minister of environmental protection.
In order to change the situation, in terms of the Ministry includes a number of measures. For example, Germany supports a ban throughout the EU on the production of goods from plastic that can’t go on recycling and reuse. It is, in particular, disposable plastic utensils, bottles and some hygiene items.
In addition, the Ministry will abolish the plastic packaging for a number of commodities, for example, transparent film for cucumbers or bananas. As for the plastic bottles for water, additional opportunities will be generated in order to fill the bottle again, and not to take them. According to the plan of the Ministry of environmental protection, manufacturers that will use its products in material suitable for recycled and environmentally friendly disposal, will have to wait for the reward. In addition, recycled products needs to gain more popularity, and manufacturers to invest more. Plastic should only be made from biowaste.
But while Svenja Schulze is trying to ensure that the ban on manufacture of plastic items that cannot go in recycling was mandatory. Bettina Hoffmann (Bettina Hoffmann) from the party “Soyuz-90/”Green”, dealing with issues of environmental protection, this plan, in her words, “caused a bitter disappointment”.
In an interview with DW, she noted that it is not marked mandatory and the main goal is to contribute not only to reduce the amount of plastic bags, but also his appearance. The Minister of the environment, in turn, believes that dialogue can influence the reduction of waste, evidence of which is the situation with used plastic bags, the number of which for two years has been reduced by two thirds.
The ban of plastic bags in Asia and Africa
But in other countries, e.g. in Africa, this issue is treated much more severely. In Rwanda plastic bags are banned 10 years ago. For their use face a fine. The government strictly monitors that the prohibition is not violated. The example of Rwanda also followed by Kenya and South Africa. And in Bangladesh, the ban of plastic bags has led to the emergence of the black market.
Despite the fact that the biggest problem with plastic exists in Asia and Africa, the Minister of ecology of Germany believes that Europe should make greater efforts to combat environmental pollution by plastic. “I’m not ready to say that the issue of garbage at the bottom of seas and oceans is not related to us,” said Schultz. German plan of the 5 points are very important, but the measures taken at the international level may be different. “Plastic in the stomach of a sperm whale – a problem that can be solved only at the global level”, – summed up the Minister of the environment of Germany.