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海洋悲歌

2018/9/21 — 15:11

強颱風「山竹」將大量海洋垃圾沖上杏花邨。

強颱風「山竹」將大量海洋垃圾沖上杏花邨。

提起海洋塑膠災難,大家印象較為深刻的可能是 2012 年颱風「韋森特」襲港期間,一艘貨輪上裝滿塑膠粒的貨櫃墜海,令香港多個沙灘及南面海域都滿佈塑膠粒,威脅海洋生物,引發各團體相繼發起清理行動。2017 年颱風天鴿及帕卡和今年的山竹襲港,將海洋垃圾吹到陸上,其中近岸的杏花邨積聚大量發泡膠垃圾,市民自發到場清理並將收集到的發泡膠、膠樽交由環保組織處理。其實在世界各地,塑膠垃圾都經常因人為或垃圾掩埋場的設計失誤而散落到海洋,據聯合國環境署的統計,每年有超過 800 萬噸的塑膠被棄置於大海,情況令人擔憂。

塑膠垃圾不單影響了海洋的景觀,更對海洋生態造成很大的破壞。據聯合國環境署估計,到 2050 年,99% 的海鳥會因誤食海洋塑膠垃圾,危害食物鏈;海洋中的塑膠總重量更會超過所有魚類的重量總和,海洋將會儼如一個塑膠垃圾的棄置場。

使用塑膠雖為人類帶來便利的生活,但現今塑膠污染問題日益加劇,塑膠垃圾更由陸地轉移至海洋。眾所周知,塑膠分解普遍需要最少幾百年的時間,這也代表佔海洋垃圾 80% 的塑膠垃圾將會停留在海洋裡數個世紀,並不斷累積,可見處理海洋塑膠垃圾問題已是刻不容緩。

廣告

生活在香港的你,或許會問:「海洋垃圾問題與我何干呢?」海洋跟陸地不相同的地方,乃是海水會隨著洋流及氣候而流動,海洋垃圾會因此而漂落到世界各地不同的沿海地方。香港也是臨海的城巿,當然也不能獨善其身,假如情況繼續惡化,我們可能再難享受優美的沙灘,食用的海鮮也可能佈滿塑膠或塑膠微粒及毒素,最終我們要一起承擔這不可逆轉的苦果。

有見及此,聯合國環境署於「世界海洋峰會 2017」提出「清潔海洋運動」,鼓勵大家減少使用一次性的塑料及塑膠包裝物料。此運動的推廣不限於國家層面,更呼籲企業以至每個消費者一起支持,例如其中一間參與此運動的跨國電腦生產商戴爾(Dell),它們將會採用由海洋塑膠垃圾循環再造的物料作產品包裝。

廣告

作為地球村的一分子,我們當然也應該大力支持,承諾在日常生活中作出改變,減少使用一次性塑膠製品,如:飲管、膠袋、即棄餐具或飲品膠樽等,再進一步運用消費者的力量去改變生產商的生產模式。只要多加決心,即使生活在香港的我們,亦能夠以行動為海洋的未來作出貢獻。

A Plastic Ocean

Speaking of marine plastic pollution disaster, you may think of the incident when Typhoon Vicente hit Hong Kong in 2012 – a few cargos loaded polypropylene pellets fell off from the ship to the sea and spilt tons of pellets onto our beaches and over the southern waters of Hong Kong. It has brought large threats to the marine life that different organizations hosted clean-up campaigns to alleviate the ecological dilemma. Typhoo Hato and Pakhar of 2017 and Mangkhut of 2018 hit Hong Kong, they had brought plastic litter, most of them are Styrofoam, from Ocean to land. Citizen cleaned up and brought these Styrofoam to Environmental Organization spontaneously.  In fact, in many countries, plastic debris leaks into the ocean from time to time due to human activities or poorly designed landfills. According to UN Environment, over 8 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean every year. The situation is extremely worrying.

Not only will the plastic litter affects the marine landscape, but also cause huge damages to the marine ecology. UN Environment estimates that by 2050, 99% of seabirds will have ingested plastic from the ocean and thus threatens the food chain. The total weight of plastic litter in the ocean will be greater than that of fishes.  The ocean will ultimately become a grave of plastics. 

Although the use of plastics has brought great convenience to our daily lives, the plastic pollution problem is getting worse and being shifted from the land to the ocean. As everyone knows, it takes at least hundreds of years for plastic to be decomposed, which implicates that 80% of the ocean litter – plastics will remain and accumulate in the ocean for few centuries. It is crucial to take immediate actions to tackle this problem.

As a Hongkoner, you may wonder, ‘How ocean litter relates to me?’ The ocean differs to the land that water is always drifted by currents and climate. The ocean litter floats to different coastal areas all around the world. As a coastal city, Hong Kong definitely cannot be immune. If the situation continues to worsen, we have no choice but to bare the irreversible consequences of having no more beautiful beaches. All seafood we have may be polluted by plastics, microbeads and toxins too.

To avoid these consequences, the UN Environment has launched the ‘Clean Seas Campaign’ in ‘World Ocean Summit 2017’, encouraging citizens and retailers to reduce single-use of plastic disposables and plastic packaging. The programme does not limit to national level, but also welcome support from business enterprises and individual consumers. For example, DELL, a multinational computer company, is planning to use recovered ocean plastics for packaging in response to the Campaign. 

As a member of the global village, we should fully support the Campaign by committing to reduce the use of disposable plastic items, such as straws, bags, cutleries, beverage bottles and so on. To step forward, we can gather consumers’ power to urge the manufacturers to take their own responsibilities for the environment. If we take the initiatives to do so, even we Hongkongers can contribute to bring new hopes to the future of the ocean.

 

原刊於長春社網站

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