Plastic Garbage OUT TO SEA?

Plastic Garbage OUT TO SEA?

Urban growth, temperature rise and melting glaciers threaten river deltas around the world. Southeast Asia – from India to China – in particular will be severely affected. Large numbers of people live in poverty, countries are densely-populated and coastlines are long. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the chance that people in this region will be affected by water-related disasters is about 25 times greater than in Europe. How are people tackling water challenges in Asia?

Writer: Rama Ajailat

21 Dec 2017
Feature by REVOLVE

Water
This article is featured in REVOLVE #13 on pages 17-23.

A new regional exhibition shows the littering of the Red Sea with plastic

The accumulation of marine litter in the oceanis a growing problem worldwide and hasserious impacts on the marine environment, human health, and the economy. Plastic, the most utilized and persistent material arises as the primary contaminant in the marine environ- ment. The Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS) is organizing the regional exhibition “Plastic Garbage – Out to Sea?” in Amman, Jordan, in order to inform the public about the negative impacts of plastic garbage on marine life. It also aims to encourage people to change their individual behavior and take action to minimize their consumption of goods resulting in plastic garbage.

The Aqaba coastline is the only maritime area in Jordan with a limited shoreline of 27 km, facing several threats, such as industrial use, port activities, wastewater and littering. Addi- tionally, human impacts, such as overfishing, improper diving attitudes – like stepping on or touching coral reefs, feeding fish, and careless anchoring exacerbate the situation dramatically.

Littering is a major threat to the marine environment in Jordan

The lack of research and remote sensingimages are hindering public understanding of the real impact of plastic littering on the marine environment in the Gulf of Aqaba. The majority of the population in Jordan lives in non-coastal areas and cities in the north. This makes it difficult for them to understand the severity of the issue, and the fact that they are contributing significantly to the plastic

Southeast Asia is the frontline in the battle against climate change. You will see the impact earlier here. That’s ironic because these coastal residents often live a very sustainable life. However, if rice and fruit crops are damaged by saltwater, floods or severe warming, it means a huge loss of income and people are then forced to move to the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Dhaka or Yangon – in the worst case they cross borders; they become climate migrants.

Left: The persistence of marine litter, in particular lightweight plastic items, along the coast of Aqaba is the result of the public’s lack of awareness about the consequences of their actions regarding littering and poor practices of solid waste management

Source: Mohammad S. Al-Tawaha / JREDS

garbage which ends up in the sea. Lots of the marine garbage is dumped in wadis and valleys, and thereafter flushed to the sea by floods. Lightweight items, such as plastic bags are also blown out to sea by the wind.

Tourists who leave their garbage on the beach also contribute directly to marine pollution. Despite ongoing activities deal-ing with solid waste, the problem remains unsolved. Moreover, as most visitors expect clean beaches and oceans, marine littering poses a risk to the environment and it may result in economic loss.

How plastics used everyday pollute the oceans

JREDS in cooperation with the Drosos Founda- tion and the Museum fuer Gestaltung in Zurich is organizing the “Plastic Garbage – Out to Sea?” exhibition. In order to run the exhibition in Jordan, JREDS is supported by the program “Protection of the Environment and Biodiversity in Jordan” of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

The exhibition is traveling around the globe and will take place in Egypt, Lebanon and Marocco. Its main focus is to show in a practi- cal way the the link between our behavior regarding solid plastic garbage, the products we use daily, and the growing plastic litter- ing of the world’s oceans in addition to its negative effects.

The exhibition is also an umbrella for many more layers, such as the cleanup campaigns

Revolve #13 – Fall 2014

Plastics – the miracle material that is so durable and such a pollution problem… but there is a way to turn waste into wealth: watch out here comes the circular economy.