Beyond The Plastic Pollution

The zero waste movement gains momentum everyday, and I agree plastic waste are polluting our natural environment at a scale like never before and are causing harm on the natural eco-system, especially the oceans.

Yet, I like to call attention to other human practises that are destroying our natural resources, in my pov, at a faster rate than plastic pollution is.

Over fishing all over the world is causing the imbalance of the natural food chain. When humans takes more from the ocean than then nature can renew in time, it causes entire species of fishes and marine life to be at risk of extinction. Fisherman historically used nets to catch fishes, but with advancement in technology, entire school of fishes are sucked out of the ocean by powerful vacuum pumps.

This is to feed the ever increasing demand from humans, not just for food and fish oil but also for animal feed. Highly marketed fishes such as tuna, salmon, trout, etc are depleting extremely quickly.

There are many death zones in the oceans as a result of our over fishing. Death zones are areas in the oceans that do not have life, the corals, the fishes and marine life in those areas have all died and/or left because there is nothing left to feed on. Death zones are created when there is a gap in the food chain and one species of fish disappears and another species multiply beyond control and cause other life forms to die. In these death zones, schools of fishes are caught, living micro plankton to multiply uncontrollably and use up all the oxygen in the water, effectively suffocating the marine life in that area.

My personal opinion? Marine life will be gone faster due to over fishing than from plastic pollution.

Organic farming for food and for fabric to make clothing is increasing in demand. The idea was a lofty one. It was to provide quality products to market that did not have unsustainable practises like pesticides that pollute the environment, or harmful practises that affect humans health.

Yet, from my understanding of organic farming practises, more resources are used up in the process. For example to be organic, produce needs to be grown on land that has been allowed to rest and renew itself. Which means farm 2 years, rest the land for 1 year. Now, ask yourself this … what will farmers earn during the year of rest? Do they rest? Most simply clear more land to farm, you can’t expect farmers to stop earning a living just for the sake of going “organic”? So, more forest needs to be cleared to allow for land rotation. This depletes our natural rainforest and eats into the animals habitat and also destroys biodiversity in the forest.

To farm organically, more resources in terms of water and manpower is also needed. Water is already a scarce resource in many places, and diverting supply for organic farming when many regions don’t have clean water, seems extravagant to me.

My take? Buy responsibly, don’t just buy into the trending buzzwords, GOT, RSPO, etc. Take time to understand what that means to all the stakeholders, NOT just the shareholders.

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