The Ocean Plastic Crisis – Greenpeace
According to a 2016 plastic industry report, the world’s plastic production has grown by 8.6% per year since 1950: from 1.5 million tonnes annually to over 330 million tonnes annually. As of today, some 9 billion metric tons of plastics have been produced and spread around the world. To the plastics industry, this is a “global success story.” For Earth’s beleaguered ecosystems, for all non-human species, and for anyone paying attention, plastics have been a deadly disaster.According to a report published in Science Advances – from researchers at the University of California, University of Georgia, and Woods Hole Institute in Massachusetts – only about 9% of plastic has been recycled, 12 % has been incinerated (polluting the air with toxic gases), and the remaining 79 %, remains in the environment. If current production and waste management trends continue, by 2050, there will be 12 billion tonnes of plastic in natural environments. That’s the weight of 100 million blue whales – 5,000 times the actual blue whale population left on Earth.
Plastics are closely correlated with economic growth. Multinational corporations often impose plastic packaging on poor nations that may lack recycling systems to deal with them. Because of the fundamental chemistry of most commonly used plastics, they are not biodegradable, so they accumulate as virtually permanent contamination in Earth’s ecosystems.
Malnutrition – Doctors Without Borders
Eight children die every minute because their diet lacks essential nutrients. They will continue to do so unless food aid changes.
Doctors Without Borders admitted 181,600 malnourished children to inpatient or outpatient feeding programs in 2015.
When children suffer from acute malnutrition, their immune systems are so impaired that the risk of death is greatly increased. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malnutrition is the single greatest threat to the world’s public health.
The critical age for malnutrition is from six months—when mothers generally start supplementing breast milk—to 24 months. However, children under five, adolescents, pregnant or breastfeeding women, the elderly, and the chronically ill are also vulnerable.
People become malnourished if they are unable to take in enough or fully utilize the food they eat, due to illnesses such as diarrhea or other longstanding illnesses, such as measles, HIV, and tuberculosis.
We estimate that only three percent of the 20 million children suffering from severe acute malnutrition receive the lifesaving treatment they need.