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Plastic pollution-crisis

• 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

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Plastic pollution-crisis

  1. 1. Plastic Pollution Crisis : an Emerging Health and Environmental Concern Ahmed-Refat A.G Refat Prof. Occupational Health FOM-ZU 2020
  2. 2. Current state of the Plastic Pollution Crisis
  3. 3. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 3
  4. 4. Plastic packaging Plastic packaging accounts for •36% of all plastics made, •but amounts to 47% of all plastic waste; •90% of all plastic items are used once, and then discarded,Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 4
  5. 5. The USA recycle just 9% of its plastic trash Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 5
  6. 6. Up to 9 of 10 seabirds, 1 in 3 sea turtles and more than half of whale and dolphin species have ingested plastic. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 6
  7. 7. ‫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 minute( • 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
  8. 8. https://www.theworldcounts.com/stories/interesting- facts-about-plastic-bags • 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
  9. 9. But ….. it Degrades and Decomposes into small fragments..…. then into smaller and finer fragments called: Micro- and Nano-Plastics Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 9 Plastic polymer do not readily depolymerise
  10. 10. • Most plastics do not biodegrade. • Instead, they slowly break down into smaller fragments known as microplastics. • 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
  11. 11. Plastic Pollution Concern 2010 Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 11 Microplastic Soil & Air
  12. 12. Number of published studies (in PubMed) on microplastic and health through years 2009-2019 pubmed - microplastic health year count 2020 60 2019 159 2018 89 2017 42 2016 19 2015 10 2014 3 2013 5 2012 1 2011 1 2009 1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=microplastic++healthDr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 12
  13. 13. Microplastics & Nanoplastics. Microplastics : particles with a diameter >5 mm, Nanoplastics particles, measuring <0.1μm in diameter Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 13
  14. 14. Microplastics: Three Different Hazards MP Contain Three Types of Chemicals: 1. Plastic polymeric raw materials . 2. Chemical Additives and 3.Ab-/adsorbed Contaminants from the environment. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 14
  15. 15. 1. Plastic polymeric raw materials • Currently, there are in commerce more than 5,300 grades of synthetic polymers. • 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
  16. 16. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 16
  17. 17. Styrofoam • 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
  18. 18. 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 ocean annually. • This number could increase to 1.2 million tonnes per year by 2050. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 18
  19. 19. 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 chemicals together. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 19
  20. 20. 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
  21. 21. Endocrine Disruptors (EDCs) EDS has been associated with : • Hormonal cancers (breast, prostate, testes), • Reproductive problems (genital malformations, infertility), • Metabolic disorders (diabetes, obesity), • Asthma, • Neurodevelopmental conditions (learning disorders, autism spectrum disorders). Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 21
  22. 22. 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
  23. 23. 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
  24. 24. Rafting Phenomenon MP as a carrier for bacteria and viruses Microplastic debris may facilitate the transport of microorganisms that bind to its surface causing migration over long distances Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 24
  25. 25. From Ecosystem Health to Human Health • 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 consequences. • Today’s discussions center on the impacts of • microplastics on food for human consumption ,with possible threats for food safety and human health. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 25
  26. 26. Microplastics in Food • According to a recent study , Cox et al [2019], 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
  27. 27. 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
  28. 28. MP translocation and penetration • Only microplastics smaller than 150 μm may translocate across the mammalian gut epithelium causing systemic exposure. • However, the absorption of these microplastics is expected to be limited (≤ 0.3 percent). Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 28
  29. 29. MP translocation and penetration • Only the smallest microplastic fraction (size ≤ 20 μm) may penetrate into organs and cause systemic exposure. • Most likely, microplastics will interact with the immune system but reports in humans are lacking. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 29
  30. 30. 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 beyond. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 30
  31. 31. Plastics and packaging generate significant negative consequences Three areas: 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
  32. 32. 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
  33. 33. Plastic Crises & The Largest Natural Carbon Sink on the Planet ….. The oceans Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 33
  34. 34. 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
  35. 35. Phytoplankton Zooplankton • Laboratory experiments suggest plastic pollution can reduce the ability of phytoplankton to fix carbon through photosynthesis. • They also suggest that plastic pollution can reduce the metabolic rates, reproductive success, and survival of zooplankton that transfer the carbon to the deep ocean. • 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 concern. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 35
  36. 36. Phasing out single-use plastic shopping “Bags”Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 36
  37. 37. • A plastic bag has an average • usable life of just 12 minutes • but will survive in the marine environment for thousands of years, Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 37
  38. 38. Five Trillion Plastic Bags / Year !! It is estimated that 1 to 5 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. is almost = 10 million plastic bags per minute. If tied together, all these plastic bags could be wrapped around the world seven times every hour. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 38
  39. 39. Plastic Bag Alternatives : will fragment into smaller pieces : can be metabolized by microorganisms, such as bacteria or fungi, over a ‘reasonable’ period of time biodegradable in a compost facility Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 39
  40. 40. Bioplastics derived from renewable sources as corn starch, cassava roots, or sugarcane or from bacterial fermentation of sugar or lipids Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 40
  41. 41. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 41
  42. 42. Many governments banned conventional plastic bags, allowing only the use and production of “biodegradable” bags. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 42
  43. 43. • “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 ocean. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 43
  44. 44. Impact of the use of on the environment 2018 Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 44
  45. 45. • 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
  46. 46. Reusable Bags are heavier and durable and more environmentally friendly than traditional single-use plastic bags . •But !!! Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 46
  47. 47. • 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
  48. 48. • Reusable bags might have to be deconstructed in the recycling process to separate the different materials. Consequently, in many cases reusable bags are not recycled. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 48
  49. 49. • 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
  50. 50. Landfill ….. Dumping Methane (CH4) is estimated to have a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 28–36 over 100 years Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 50 Aerobic CO2 Anaerobic Anaerobic Anaerobic Anaerobic Anaerobic Anaerobic Anaerobic Anaerobic Anaerobic Methane Methane Methane Methane Methane Methane Methane Methane Methane METHANE 36 times compared with co2
  51. 51. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 51
  52. 52. Plastic waste-to-energy initiatives could significantly increase* greenhouse gas emissions and* increasing toxic exposures for communities near the incinerators/power stations . Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 52
  53. 53. 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
  54. 54. Preventive and Management Strategies 1. Voluntary 2. Public awareness & education 3. Laws: Banning 4. Laws: Fees/ Taxes ( Economic) 5. Laws: E.P.R Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 54
  55. 55. 1- Voluntary • Promotion of reusable alternatives to single-use plastics . (Users) • Voluntary agreements with retailers (voluntarily ban) ( Retailers) • Voluntarily establish Extended Producer Responsibility. ( Producers) Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 55
  56. 56. 2- Public education •Introduction of environmental conservation principles in school curriculums. •Social campaigns. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 56
  57. 57. 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
  58. 58. Laws : Charges /Taxes Charges / Taxes • Suppliers • Retailer • Consumers Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 58
  59. 59. 4-Combined Ban (total or partial) + Levy + Education + Extended Producer Responsibility Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 59
  60. 60. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 60
  61. 61. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 61 2019
  62. 62. • 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
  63. 63. • 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
  64. 64. Plastic bag bans can lead to larger black markets in plastic bags. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 64
  65. 65. • 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
  66. 66. • 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. In conclusion: • Policy evaluations that ignore leakage effects overstate the regulation's welfare gains. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 66
  67. 67. • 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 revenue source. • The plastic bag charge method also protects consumer choice, which the ban does not. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 67
  68. 68. Waste Prevention Measures taken before a product has become waste . a) Reduce the quantity of waste, as : reuse of products or the extension of its life (Quantitative Measures) B) Reduce the content of harmful substances in materials and products. ( Qualitative Measures) Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 68
  69. 69. Energy Recovery Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 69
  70. 70. • 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
  71. 71. Recycling • When we collect and remanufacture plastic, we are only delaying its disposal. • The final destination for all plastic is either a landfill, where it doesn’t decompose, or an incinerator, where it releases harmful chemicals when burned. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 71
  72. 72. Recycling • 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 recycling program. • Plastics with codes three through seven are NOT recyclable in most programs. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 72
  73. 73. Throwaway Culture ‫اإلستــهالك‬ ‫ثقافة‬ Linear Economy • 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 exist. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 73
  74. 74. Linear Economic Model • which uses resources in a ‘take-make-dispose’ manner, • The resource depletion& plastic pollution problem. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 74
  75. 75. Reuse Economic Model • Reuse economy involves some degree of reusing or repurposing of items, although non- recyclable waste is still generated Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 75
  76. 76. Circular Economic Model • The circular economy aims to avoid the production of waste altogether, with maximum recycling, and is modelled on the way where outputs from some processes become inputs for others Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 76
  77. 77. The circular economy seeks to eliminate waste through: • Elimination of unnecessary products and toxic materials which minimizing recycling and materials recovery. • Products are designed to be reusable, repairable, recyclable. • Collective responsibility through the value chain and extended producer responsibility Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 77
  78. 78. Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 78
  79. 79. Five ways to fight the global plastics problem.
  80. 80. ‫البالستي‬ ‫أكياس‬ ‫مشكلة‬ ‫ومواجهة‬ ‫البيئة‬ ‫وزارة‬‫ك‬ •‫مصر‬ ‫فى‬ ‫البالستيك‬ ‫استخدام‬ ‫حجم‬ ‫قدر‬ُ‫ي‬12‫بليون‬‫كيس‬‫سنويا‬ •‫الحلول‬ ‫بعض‬‫لعدم‬‫استخدامه‬: •‫منها‬‫االلتزام‬‫الطوعى‬‫قطاع‬ ‫من‬ ‫كبيرة‬ ‫لحصة‬‫التجزئة‬ ‫الواحد‬ ‫االستخدام‬ ‫ذات‬ ‫البالستيكية‬ ‫األكياس‬ ‫توفير‬ ‫بعدم‬، •‫وسن‬‫تشريع‬،‫المستخدمين‬ ‫أمام‬ ‫توافرها‬ ‫عدم‬ ‫لضمان‬ •‫وحظر‬‫استخدام‬‫من‬ ‫أقل‬ ‫البالستيكية‬ ‫األكياس‬30،‫مك‬ُ‫س‬ ‫ميكرون‬ •‫لى‬‫نظام‬ ‫اعتماد‬ ‫جانب‬‫مشجع‬‫لإلعفاءات‬‫الضرائ‬ ‫تخفيض‬ ‫أو‬‫ب‬ ‫القابل‬ ‫البالستيك‬ ‫فى‬ ‫العاملة‬ ‫للمنظمات‬‫للتحلل‬ Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 80
  81. 81. Plastic Pollution Crises • Single-use plastics end up littering the environment in part because of irresponsible individual behavior. • But poor waste management systems also play a significant role. Behavior + System Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 81
  82. 82. In Conclusion Confronting Plastic Crises Will Require: Governmentstoregulate, Businessestoinnovate andIndividualstoact. ThankYou Dr.AhmedRefat 04/2020 82