What do we call a wrong act on the environment? A wrong act is any activity conducted by an individual, company or community that can be detrimental to the environment. We are going to name 3 wrong acts that some people do almost spontaneously which lead to environmental degradation:
Throw their gum out the window:
It’s important to know that 90% of all gum that is consumed is eventually thrown on the floor. These are the second most common form of waste and environmental degradation; gums pollute rivers and soils and take about five years to disappear. They represent 100,000 tons of plastic pollution every year.
They have a great impact on wildlife; for example, birds very often mistake them for breadcrumbs and end up choking on them.
In addition, chewing gum is very expensive for public authorities to clean (three times more expensive than buying it) due to the fact that it sticks very easily to the pavement and is therefore difficult to remove.
The ideal solution would be to throw them in a suitable container, or to create chewing gum made from natural ingredients.
Throw your cigarette butt on the ground
Cigarette butts are the main source of ocean pollution, and the most common litter followed by chewing gum. They take about 12 years to disappear and generate 2.3 million tons of industrial waste and 209,000 tons of chemical waste. They are responsible for the deforestation of 200,000 hectares of land around the world every year, thus environmental degradation. A single cigarette butt can pollute up to 500 liters of water, due to its 4,000 harmful substances that also contaminate the air and soil. While 8 million cigarette butts are discarded every minute in the world, 137 million each day, 40% of them end up in the oceans. Moreover, of the 5200 billion cigarettes produced each year in the world, 66% end up in the wild.
This is the fourth most deadly type of waste for marine life.
The solutions would be to recycle the filters into objects (for example a rule or ashtray) as the Breton association Mégo does. In addition, it would be wise to impose a fine on those who throw them on the ground; in France the fine is 68 euros. Smokers should also be in possession of a pocket ashtray, and ashtrays should be installed in all public spaces.
In Mauritius, cigarette butts are everywhere on the beaches, in the streets, in the gutters… it is one of the most common offenses committed by Mauritians, this one is condemned with a fine between Rs 500 and 2000 the first time and which may rise up to Rs 10 000 on the second offense.
Within the framework of the “World cleanup day”, a global movement involving 150 countries, Mauritius was able to launch its own massive campaign in ‘let’s do it Mauritius”. This allowed volunteers of all ages to participate in the cleaning up of the island. It was a good initiative on the part of Mauritius and the 150 other countries involved.
Throwing a plastic water bottle in the wilderness
You need 33 cl of oil for one bottle of water. Also, be aware that 42% of bottles in Europe are not recycled, which corresponds to almost half of the bottles. They take between 100 and 1000 years to degrade and are among the most common types of waste found on beaches.
The solutions would be to create vegetable plastic bottles with biodegradable cap and label. They could be made from sugar cane as it has many advantages: it is 100% biodegradable, compostable and reusable; it contains no oil so it does not release toxic substances at the end of its life but turns into carbon dioxide or methane. The manufacturing process is relatively simple, moreover the bottle would be easy to transport, unbreakable, and light unlike glass bottles. Mauritius being the appropriate place for the creation of sugar cane bottles, it would be clever to create this concept.