Author: Andy Li
Topic: Modern people are creating all sorts of plastic waste and it has become a big problem to our society. Write a letter to the editor of the Young Post, discussing the gravity of the issue and suggest ways to solve the problem. Write at least 350 words.
Modern people are creating all sorts of plastic waste and it has become a big problem in our society. I am writing to discuss the gravity of the issue and suggest ways to solve the problem.
The Greenpeace East Asia and the Education University have conducted a study about the amount of plastic waste generated each year. The result has found that the level of concentration of microplastic stood at 3.041 per cubic metre last year, which has increased over 10 times when compare with 0.256 per cubic metre in 2015. One of the causes is the manufacturers use too much plastic packaging to make more profit. For instance, food items are always wrapped with multiple layers of unnecessary plastic packaging to attract customers to purchase. Once the plastics are thrown to the landfill, they will get into the ocean eventually. The plastics get weathered and are broken down into microplastic debris which can be ingested by marine organisms. then deform. In consequence, toxic contaminants could destroy the digestive system of marine animals, and ultimately affect humans’ health.
To alleviate the problem, I suggest that manufacturers could be required to reduce the use of excessive packaging and they must take charge of recycling those used materials. For example, the government may set up laws and regulations to monitor the amount of plastic packaging that each product can use. Violation may lead to a fine. As a result, the manufacturers will use less plastic packaging because of the expected increase in the production cost. In a similar vein, the government should implement a ‘polluter pays’ scheme for plastic packaging. The producers should bear costs and responsibility for the safe disposal of the plastic waste. This can probably reduce the amount of plastic packaging used in the production process, and at the same time prevent damage to human health and the environment.
On the other hand, the citizens seldom recycle plastic waste. According to the Monitoring of Solid Waste in Hong Kong 2016, there is only 13.9% of the plastic waste is sent for recycling. It is because citizens have low sense to protect our environment. They always use lots of disposable plastic tableware when they buy take-away foods from the restaurants. Also, they always buy bottled drinks and use plastic bags rather than bringing their own when they go shopping. They are not aware of the importance of reducing the use of plastic and recycling used plastics because they just enjoy living in a cozy environment with lots of resources.
In order to raise citizen’s awareness of recycling and reducing the use of plastics, the government could firstly place different recycling bins instead of rubbish bins on the streets. Educating students should be the first and the most effective way to promote recycling. For example, schools can hold some campaigns to encourage students to recycle the plastic tableware or water bottles used, at the same time to reduce the amount of rubbish in schools. Schools may ask the tuck shop or canteen not to provide non-renewable plastic items to students, such as disposable tableware, plastic straws and plastic bags, student have to bring their own renewable tableware instead. I believe it may be difficult to promote at the beginning, but for the long-term, this can probably solve the plastic waste problem effectively.
To put it simple, the plastic waste problem is really serious nowadays and we should take immediate actions now. If all the parties in the society contribute a part in reducing plastic waste, I am sure we can have a better ‘home’ to live.