As convenient as plastic is in our lives today, it’s a menace to the environment. Most of the plastic manufactured is for single use, meaning that in our throwaway society that once the contents are used the plastic is discarded. What are our efforts to reduce plastic? One is by encouraging consumers to separate their plastic out for recycling, which does something positive about keeping plastic from entering the landfills.
For the rest, the mobility and sheer volume of plastic and danger it presents means that plastic waste management is a big headache for authorities. It ends up in water courses, and ultimately in the sea. Here, plastic does untold harm to marine life.
Being concerned about plastic and acting against indiscriminate disposal of plastic is a major concern here at Junk Removal Wirral where our waste management actions are geared to best practice.
Our best loved river, the Mersey, is most vulnerable to plastic pollution, and its of major concern that it contains the most plastic of any waterway in the UK. As this is right on our doorstep, we feel it appropriate to continue to bring this issue to everyone’s attention, so that actions can be put in place to prevent the proliferation of plastic in the Mersey River.
The Mersey is a legendary river, worthy of preservation. There are even songs about it. One of its characteristics is its width and depth. Parts are more than three miles wide, and its wide mouth is an inviting estuary to many forms of aquatic life. The river can rise by 8 meters at a spring tide, and it is a much-loved feature of Liverpool Bay.
Few people know that Orca whales have been seen in the River Mersey. These distinctive black and white whales take refuge in the river from time to time, along with other whales that have been seen like humpback whales and minke whales.
Whales frequent spaces that they find safe and suitable for safety and feeding, and when they come across pollution like plastic, they are sure to leave.
Greenpeace researchers went about investigating the plastic pollution levels in this great river. Unfortunately, the results were bad, indicating very high levels of microplastics suspended in the water. This is a bad sign for the health of our marine life that exists in the river. Not only that, but the impact of plastic pollution is also so prevalent that even sea birds are mistaking plastic for food which is then given to their young. This causes untold problems with their digestive systems even resulting in death to some of them.
While it’s not only about plastic waste management, but also crucial to have legislation in place that will set targets for the reduction in the production of single use plastics in the long run. Managing plastic pollution is not only about the recycling of empty plastic containers but also about trying to get rid of the existing pollution in the water of the river and sea.
It’s not a simple job, however. Plastics breakdown into micro plastics, pieces smaller than 5 mm, which are very difficult to observe under normal conditions. They are not like a plastic bottle floating on the surface of the river. They are suspended in the water and mistaken for food by animals and fish.
When the Greenpeace researchers did the analysis of the extent of the problem in the Mersey, the result was a shock. There were more than 2 million microplastic pieces per square kilometer, making this area more polluted than the well-publicized Pacific Garden Patch.
How do we protect the water from becoming polluted? That is the big challenge. The challenge is global, and one day the animals will have nowhere to go that is safe. Think about the future without the sights that have been enjoyed in the river. It’s not a pleasant thought.
For the sake of the future of our environment something serious must be done.
River cleanups and technology could be one of the solutions to the floating microplastics. Imagine having an increase in sightings of bottlenose dolphins, the delightful creatures that seem to have a smile on their faces as they jump in and out of the water. Those that have been lucky to have seen them in the Mersey would have been overjoyed at the sighting.
A sure sign that the cleanliness of the river is improving will be when there is an increase in the numbers of otters and salmon. It is almost as if they know the river is safe for them when they are seen to be back in the local waters.
The sight of the grey seals we have come to love lounging on the sand banks around Hilbre Island in Wirral or bobbing around looking for food in the river is familiar to most.
Smooth-hound sharks and thornback rays also make themselves at home in the river, and it is part of our duty to protect from plastic pollution.
When we see our wildlife, we are grateful responsible people who are exposing the high pollution levels and are committed to helping keep our community free of illegal disposal of plastic. Removing the microplastics may be an impossible task, but getting the source of the problem, which lies squarely with ourselves, starts with each of us.
When we all start to think about the dangers of plastic, it may signal the start of an awareness campaign to do something positive about reducing the amount of plastic we use. Let’s start now.
When we can replace plastic, especially single use plastic, with something more environmentally friendly, it will be making a major step forward to helping with the waste management of plastics.
This will be the only way to contribute to the improvement of the pollution levels of our oceans and our rivers. The Mersey is just one example. We are seeing the signs of pollution levels in the river from the results of our researchers, and before the wonderful sea creatures disappear altogether something must be done as a matter of urgency. Already the plastic pollution has reached unacceptable levels.
If you need any waste management, waste collection or waste disposal, think of Junk Removal Wirral.
Please contact us today for a No Obligation quote for your household rubbish removal in the Wirral, Liverpool, Chester, and Ellesmere Port area.
Wirral & Liverpool 0151 808 0407
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