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• About 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the 1950s – the weight of roughly a billion elephants or 47 million blue whales.
• Only about 9% of this plastic has been recycled, 12% has been burned and the remaining 79% has ended up in landfills or the environment.
• Up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans every year
Plastic packaging accounts for
•36% of all plastics made,
•but amounts to 47% of all
•90% of all plastic items are
used once, and then
discarded,Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 4
The USA recycle just 9% of its plastic
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 5
Up to 9 of 10 seabirds, 1 in 3 sea
turtles and more than half of whale
and dolphin species have ingested
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 6
في2050بالستك نفايات بالمحيطات سيكون
أسماك من المحيطات في ما وزن تساوي
• Each year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastics
leak into the ocean )one garbage truck every
• It is expected to increase to 2/min by 2030 and
4/min by 2050.
• …. plastic packaging represents the major share.
• It is estimated that there are over 150 million
tonnes of plastics in the ocean today.
• the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne of
plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by
2050, more plastics than fish (by weight).
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 7
• Plastic will only start degrading
after 700 years and will only fully
degrade in 1000 years.
• This means that all the plastic
that has ever been produced has
not degraded yet.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 8
But ….. it Degrades and
Decomposes into small
fragments..…. then into
smaller and finer fragments
Micro- and Nano-Plastics
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 9
Plastic polymer do not readily
• Most plastics do not biodegrade.
• Instead, they slowly break down into
smaller fragments known as
• Studies suggest that plastic bags and
“Styrofoam” containers can take up to
thousands of years to decompose,
contaminating soil and water.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 10
Number of published studies (in PubMed) on
microplastic and health through years 2009-2019
pubmed - microplastic health
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=microplastic++healthDr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 12
Microplastics & Nanoplastics.
particles with a diameter >5 mm,
particles, measuring <0.1μm in
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 13
Three Different Hazards
MP Contain Three Types of Chemicals:
1. Plastic polymeric raw materials .
2. Chemical Additives and
3.Ab-/adsorbed Contaminants from
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 14
1. Plastic polymeric raw materials
• Currently, there are in commerce
more than 5,300 grades of synthetic
• Their heterogeneous physico-chemical properties
will likely result in very heterogeneous fates and
effects once they enter the environment.
(( A challenge for environmental Health and
decision making )) .
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 15
• Styrofoam items contain toxic chemicals
such as styrene and benzene.
• Both are considered carcinogenic and
can lead to additional health
complications, including adverse effects
on the nervous, respiratory and
reproductive systems, and possibly on
the kidneys and liver
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 17
Plastic Additives – cont,
• The 150 million tonnes of plastics currently in
the ocean include roughly 23 million tonnes
of additives, of which some raise concern.
• Estimates suggest that about 225,000 tonnes
of such additives could be released into the
• This number could increase to 1.2 million
tonnes per year by 2050.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 18
Additives Hazards– cont,
Additives makes plastics as a
cocktail of contaminants that can
leach into the air, water, food, and,
potentially, human body tissue
during their use or their disposal,
thus exposing us to several
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 19
Additives Hazards– cont,
Bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and
prominated flame retardants,
have been proven to be
Endocrine Disruptors (EDCs)
that can damage human health if
ingested or inhaled .
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 20
A single plastic particle can
absorb up to 1,000,000 times
more toxic chemicals than the
water around it
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 22
3. MP as a vector of contaminants
3. MP as a vector of contaminants
• In the aquatic environment ( and also
in any medium ) , plastic mopping up
chemicals in surrounding water.
Several persistent organic pollutants
(POPs) can bind to it .
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 23
MP as a carrier for bacteria and viruses
Microplastic debris may
facilitate the transport of
microorganisms that bind to its
surface causing migration over
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 24
From Ecosystem Health to
• Studies point to economic effects, such as
income loss among fishermen due to plastic
debris , damage to marine industries , and loss of
tourism profits , which subsequently have social
• Today’s discussions center on the impacts of
• microplastics on food for human consumption
,with possible threats for food safety and
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 25
Microplastics in Food
• According to a recent study , Cox et al ,
microplastics were found in sugar 0.44 MPs/g
• 0.11 MPs/g were found in salt,
• 0.03 MPs/g were found in alcohol,
• and 0.09 MPs/g were found in bottled water.
• intake of 80 g per day of microplastics via
plants (fruits and vegetable) that accumulate
MPs through uptake from polluted soil.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 26
Microplatics in Water– cont,
• Out of 159 samples of globally sourced
tap water, 81% were found to contain
microplastic particles, with an overall
mean of 5.45 particles/L.
• 105 From a total of 259 individual
bottles of water
93% showed signs of microplastic
contamination with an
average of 10.4 particles/L.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 27
MP translocation and penetration
• Only microplastics smaller than 150
μm may translocate across the
mammalian gut epithelium causing
• However, the absorption of these
microplastics is expected to be
limited (≤ 0.3 percent).
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 28
MP translocation and penetration
• Only the smallest microplastic
fraction (size ≤ 20 μm) may
penetrate into organs and cause
• Most likely, microplastics will
interact with the immune system
but reports in humans are lacking.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 29
Plastic Lifecycle– cont,
Almost every single piece of plastic
begins as a petroleum fuel,
and greenhouse gases are emitted at
each of the stages of plastics lifecycle:
from extraction and transport of
petroleum fuels, to manufacture and
production, to waste processing and
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 30
Plastics and packaging generate
significant negative consequences
1.Degradation of natural systems as a result
of leakage, especially in the ocean;
2. Greenhouse gas emissions resulting from
production and after-use incineration;
3. and Health and Environmental impacts
from substances of concern.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 31
Plastic & Carbon Budget
• By 2030, these emissions could reach
1.34 GT/Y—equivalent to the emissions
released by more than 295 new 500-
megawatt coal-fired power plants.
• By 2050, the cumulation of these
greenhouse gas emissions from plastic
could reach over 56 GT—10–13 % of the
entire remaining carbon budget
(Emission Quota ).
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 32
Plastic Crises &
The Largest Natural
Carbon Sink on the Planet
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 33
The Oceans …the Largest Natural
Carbon Sink on the Planet …..
• Earth’s oceans have absorbed 20–40 % of all
anthropogenic carbon emitted since the
dawn of the industrial era.
• Microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and
animals (zooplankton) play a critical role in
the biological carbon pump that captures
carbon at the ocean’s surface and transports
it into the deep oceans, preventing it from
reentering the atmosphere.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 34
• Laboratory experiments suggest plastic pollution can
reduce the ability of phytoplankton to fix carbon
• They also suggest that plastic pollution can reduce the
metabolic rates, reproductive success, and survival of
zooplankton that transfer the carbon to the deep
• Research into these impacts is still in its infancy, but
early indications that plastic pollution may interfere
with the largest natural carbon sink on the planet
should be cause for immediate attention and serious
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 35
“Bags”Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 36
• A plastic bag has
• usable life of just
• but will survive
in the marine
years, Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 37
Five Trillion Plastic Bags / Year !!
It is estimated that 1 to 5 trillion plastic
bags are consumed worldwide each year.
5.000.000.000 is almost =
10 million plastic bags per minute.
If tied together, all these plastic bags could
be wrapped around the world seven times
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 38
Plastic Bag Alternatives
will fragment into smaller pieces
can be metabolized by microorganisms, such as
bacteria or fungi, over a ‘reasonable’ period of
biodegradable in a compost facility
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 39
corn starch, cassava
roots, or sugarcane
or from bacterial
sugar or lipids
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 40
plastic bags, allowing only
the use and production of
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 42
• “biodegradable” plastic break down
completely only if exposed to prolonged
high temperatures above 50°C . Such
conditions are met in incineration plants, but very
rarely in the environment.
• Therefore, bioplastics do not
automatically degrade in the
environment and especially not in the
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 43
Impact of the use of
on the environment
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 44
• While some EU Member States have already
set an example and restricted the use of oxo-
degradable plastics, several countries in the
Middle-East and Africa are still promoting the
use of oxo-degradable plastics or even made
their use mandatory. Oxo-degradable plastics
are falsely marketed as a solution to the
plastic waste and littering problem in
countries where no effective waste
management infrastructure is in place.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 45
Reusable Bags are heavier and
durable and more
environmentally friendly than
traditional single-use plastic bags .
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 46
• But !!! recycling reusable bags
can be complicated, time
intensive, and costly as they
often require different processes
from those locally available.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 47
• Reusable bags might have to be
deconstructed in the recycling
process to separate the different
materials. Consequently, in many
cases reusable bags are not
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 48
• This means that millions of reusable
bags, currently displacing
conventional plastic shopping bags,
will end up in landfills at the end of
their useful life.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 49
Landfill ….. Dumping
Methane (CH4) is estimated to have a Global Warming
Potential (GWP) of 28–36 over 100 years
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 50
METHANE 36 times
compared with co2
initiatives could significantly
increase* greenhouse gas
emissions and* increasing toxic
exposures for communities near
the incinerators/power stations .
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 52
Such operations transfer the
threat of plastic from the
oceans to the air, while
compounding its climate
impacts. This is the very
definition of a false solution.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 53
2- Public education
conservation principles in
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 56
3. Laws :Ban / EPR
• Bans the production, use, sale, etc. of
certain single-use plastic items Ban
(total or partial).
• Extended Producer Responsibility.
Laws and acts mandating that packaging
producers bear some responsibility in
recovering packaging waste.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 57
• A 2019 study in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management found that:
• The implementation of a ban on
plastic carryout bags in California led
to a reduction of 40 million pounds
of plastic ……….
• but that Californians purchased
12 million pounds of plastic
through trash bag purchases.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 62
• A 2019 study in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management found that
• Also, the study showed that before
the introduction of the ban between
12% and 22% of plastic carryout bags
were re-used as trash bags.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 63
Plastic bag bans can
larger black markets in
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 64
• The production of some non-plastic bags
(e.g. paper, cotton,,using virgin plastic
such as plastic having thickness of 50
micron) can produce more greenhouse
gas emissions than plastic bags,
• which means that greenhouse gas
emissions may increase on net following
plastic bag bans.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 65
• Further, the bans can drive significant
increases in sales of trash bags; these
trash bags are thicker and thus use more
plastic than typical store-issued bags.
• Policy evaluations that ignore leakage
effects overstate the regulation's
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 66
• The charge strategy is said to have all
of the same results in plastic bag
reduction ( plastic bag ban) , with the
additional benefit of creating a new
• The plastic bag charge method also
protects consumer choice, which the
ban does not.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 67
Measures taken before a product has
become waste .
a) Reduce the quantity of waste, as : reuse
of products or the extension of its life
B) Reduce the content of harmful
substances in materials and products.
( Qualitative Measures)
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 68
• An important issue with recycling is that
different bags are made from different yet
visually similar types of plastics.
• Bags can be either made of bioplastics or
biodegradable plastics, and if accidentally
combined in a compost, the bioplastics could
contaminate the biodegradable composting.
• These bags can also jam recycling equipment
when mixed with other types of plastic, which
can be costly to repair
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 70
• When we collect and remanufacture
plastic, we are only delaying its
• The final destination for all plastic is
either a landfill, where it doesn’t
decompose, or an incinerator, where
it releases harmful chemicals when
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 71
• Containers without necks, such as tubs and trays, are
not recyclable, even if they are marked with a one or a
two. This is because plastic bottles are “blow-molded,”
while plastic tubs are “injection-molded:” the different
additives used in each process mean the two cannot
be mixed during recycling.
• Bottle caps, which are not the same kind of plastic as
the bottles, must be removed,
• and the bottles should also be crushed so that bins
don’t fill up so quickly — this saves money for the
• Plastics with codes three through seven are NOT
recyclable in most programs.
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 72
• Putting in place measures to phase out single-
use plastic bags is a first step to addressing the
‘throwaway culture’ of a linear economy. The
choice of these bags as a starting point for
engaging the community is appropriate
because they touch every consumer, and
many practical and affordable alternatives
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 73
Linear Economic Model
• which uses resources in a
• The resource depletion&
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 74
Reuse Economic Model
• Reuse economy
involves some degree
of reusing or
repurposing of items,
recyclable waste is
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 75
Circular Economic Model
• The circular economy
aims to avoid the
production of waste
maximum recycling, and
is modelled on the way
where outputs from
some processes become
inputs for others
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 76
The circular economy seeks to eliminate waste
• Elimination of unnecessary products and toxic
materials which minimizing recycling and
• Products are designed to be reusable, repairable,
• Collective responsibility through the value chain
and extended producer responsibility
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 77
Plastic Pollution Crises
• Single-use plastics end up littering the
environment in part because of irresponsible
• But poor waste management systems also
play a significant role.
Behavior + System
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 81
Confronting Plastic Crises Will Require:
Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 82