地球快要变成“塑料星球”
文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2021-02-23 08:54 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
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气候变化仅仅是地球遇到的挑战之一,我们所居住的星球还面临着堆积如山的垃圾和废弃物,尤其是白色垃圾。一项研究说,自1950年至今,人类已生产出83亿吨塑料制品,并尚未找到有效处理和回收塑料制品的方法。
 
Here's a staggering statistic1. Scientists have calculated the total amount of plastic ever made: 8.3 billion tonnes. Looked at another way, that's as heavy as 25,000 Empire State Buildings or one billion elephants. And incredibly, almost all of it has been made in the last 65 years. 
 
So what's the problem? Much plastic is in the form of packaging which is used just once and then thrown away. According to a major new study from the University of California, 9% of this is recyled, 12% is incinerated and 79% goes to landfill. And because most plastic doesn't biodegrade, once it's in the ground, it stays there. 
 
It's a situation that has led the paper's lead author, ecologist Dr Roland Geyer, to say that we are "rapidly heading towards 'Planet Plastic'". He believes that there's already enough waste out there to cover the whole of Argentina.
 
The team behind this report also estimate that eight million tonnes of plastic waste are escaping into the sea every year. This has generated concern that plastic is entering the food chain, though fish and other sea life which ingest the smaller fragments.
 
Of course, the reason why there's so much plastic around is that it's an amazingly useful material. We can't get enough of it. It's durable2 and adaptable3, and is used for everything from yoghurt pots to spaceships. But it's precisely4 this quality which makes it a problem. The only way to destroy plastic is to heat or burn it – although this has the side effect of harmful emissions5.
 
So what's the alternative, other than using less plastic? Oceanographer Dr Erik van Sebille from Utrecht University says we're facing a "tsunami6" of plastic waste, and that the global waste industry needs to "get its act together".
 
Professor Richard Thompson, a marine7 biologist from Plymouth University, says it's poor design that's at fault. He says that if products are currently designed "with recyclability in mind", they could be recyled around 20 times over.
 
Dr Geyer agrees: "The holy grail of recycling is to keep material in use and in the loop for ever if you can. But it turns out in our study that actually 90% of that material that did get recycled - which I think we calculated was 600 million tonnes - only got recycled once."


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1 statistic QuGwb     
n.统计量;adj.统计的,统计学的
参考例句:
  • Official statistics show real wages declining by 24%.官方统计数字表明实际工资下降了24%。
  • There are no reliable statistics for the number of deaths in the battle.关于阵亡人数没有可靠的统计数字。
2 durable frox4     
adj.持久的,耐久的
参考例句:
  • This raincoat is made of very durable material.这件雨衣是用非常耐用的料子做的。
  • They frequently require more major durable purchases.他们经常需要购买耐用消费品。
3 adaptable vJDyI     
adj.能适应的,适应性强的,可改编的
参考例句:
  • He is an adaptable man and will soon learn the new work.他是个适应性很强的人,很快就将学会这种工作。
  • The soil is adaptable to the growth of peanuts.这土壤适宜于花生的生长。
4 precisely zlWzUb     
adv.恰好,正好,精确地,细致地
参考例句:
  • It's precisely that sort of slick sales-talk that I mistrust.我不相信的正是那种油腔滑调的推销宣传。
  • The man adjusted very precisely.那个人调得很准。
5 emissions 1a87f8769eb755734e056efecb5e2da9     
排放物( emission的名词复数 ); 散发物(尤指气体)
参考例句:
  • Most scientists accept that climate change is linked to carbon emissions. 大多数科学家都相信气候变化与排放的含碳气体有关。
  • Dangerous emissions radiate from plutonium. 危险的辐射物从钚放散出来。
6 tsunami bpAyo     
n.海啸
参考例句:
  • Powerful quake sparks tsunami warning in Japan.大地震触发了日本的海啸预警。
  • Coastlines all around the Indian Ocean inundated by a huge tsunami.大海啸把印度洋沿岸地区都淹没了。
7 marine 77Izo     
adj.海的;海生的;航海的;海事的;n.水兵
参考例句:
  • Marine creatures are those which live in the sea. 海洋生物是生存在海里的生物。
  • When the war broke out,he volunteered for the Marine Corps.战争爆发时,他自愿参加了海军陆战队。
TAG标签: planet plastic waste
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