For the sake of my love for fish, please ban plastic use – NOW!

Not many years ago our brothers from Central Kenya did not want anything to do with fish. Then a local TV station, I guess Citizen TV, aired a documentary detailing the advantages of fish including its ability to expand mental capacity – and things changed. Today, almost every Kenyan eats an equal amount of fish per month, and that has led to a situation where fish in Lake Victoria diminishes quicker per season than ever before.

But the fish you all have come to love might be the unhealthiest meal you will ever consume. Read on then support my call – “ban plastic use now”

“Roughly 20 percent of small fish have plastic in their bellies” writes PopSci. The insightful article goes ahead and explains, “Plastic’s interactions with sea life are more mysterious. Some species benefit: Barnacles and bivalves colonize floating plastic debris to create novel ecosystems. But sea turtles and sea birds die from eating plastic that clogs their digestive tracts.”

Assuming that the fish that eat the plastic survive, and if we go by some of the statistics mentioned in the article, it is not long before we start eating plastic for fish. Some of the worrying statistics about plastic waste, their origin and oceanic life are as follows:

  • Five trillion pieces of plastic are floating in the oceans
  • Almost 300,000 tons of plastic swirl near the surface of our seas today–equivalent to the weight of about 1,500 blue whales
  • Roughly 20 percent of small fish have plastic in their bellies
  • Plastic flow to the oceans will double in the next decade
  • 65% of Ocean plastic, by weight, lie north of the equator
  • In 2013, volunteers with the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup collected more than 12.3 million pounds of beach trash around the globe, including more than 940,000 plastic bottles.
  • The average American throws out 185 pounds of plastic every year
  • After San Jose, California, banned plastic bags in 2012, bag litter choking the city’s storm drains dropped by almost 90 percent and by 60 per­cent in creeks and rivers – reason why plastic must be banned now.

Do you love fish? Do you see the impact of the above statistics on fish? And other sea/ocean life forms? What would happen if most of the oceanic life become extinct in the next three to four decades?

Plastic is not just a threat to oceanic life. There are those who chose not to dispose of them via rivers (have you seen the water streams flowing through industrial area lately?) but burn them. Burning of plastic and fumes emitted during their manufacture are one the greatest contributors to global warming.

And on global warming, did you see what the rains did to Nairobi streets last week? Did you see that traffic jam? That’s just when we receive 10% of annual rainfall in two days. Imagine what will happen when we receive 50% of annual rainfall in one hour. Have you watched Water World? You should.

And if you still doubt that time to ban plastic use is now, then I suggest you eat some fish.


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