We all are quite familiar with plastic pollution and its effects, so just let me give you a quick brief and we’ll move on to the main subject.
Plastic pollution is the accretion of plastic objects and particles in the Soil’s atmosphere that adversely affects humans, wildlife, and their environment. Plastics that act as pollutants are categorized by size into micro or macro wreckage.
Some of the most common types of plastic scrap are:
- PET or Polyethylene Terephthalate.
- HDPE or High-Density Polyethylene.
- PVC or Polyvinyl Chloride.
- LDPE or Low-Density Polyethylene.
- PP or Polypropylene.
- PS or Polystyrene.
- Other Plastics.
Plastic scrap has become a major problem for the world. Approximately 275 million metric tons of plastic waste are produced annually, and up to 12 million tons leak into oceans, wreaking havoc on living and ecologies (CIEL, 2020). The result is an estimated $13 billion in annual environmental damage to sea systems.
CMA CGM’S DECISION TO NOT ACCEPT PLASTIC SCRAPS
CMA CGM will not be accepting plastic waste onboard any CMA CGM Group’s vessels starting April 15, according to a customer notice. They made the initial announcement on its decision to ban plastic waste in February during the One Ocean Summit. Also, they had started this “landmark decision” would become effective from June First. The ban on transporting plastic waste on its ships “will prevent this type of waste from being exported to destinations where sorting, recycling or recovery cannot be assured,” according to the February statement.
CMA CGM holds the position of one of the most famous ocean carriers in the world. Now, they will no longer export plastic waste. Their decision to ban plastic waste onboard their ships comes at a time when sustainability and environment-friendly practices are in high demand from customers and regulators. U.S. plastic scrap exports fell by 11% in 2021 with 557 million kilograms of plastic scrap exported compared to 629 million kilograms in 2020, according to U.S. export data.
Their ban on plastic scrap won’t be an easy project. Material is often labeled using HS code 3915 but that doesn’t stop differences in how shipments are labeled. For a better understanding of controlling the regulatory procedures when shipping plastic scrap, a shipper could use HS code 3920 which labels a product as plastic instead of plastic scrap, according to Resource Recycling. Such false coding would allow the banned commodity to be shipped.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Environment Assembly is working on tackling global plastic waste on an international level. Resolution from the UNEA, released last month, “Sets the goal to present a detailed treaty by the end of 2024 to further regulate international trade in plastics.”
TAKE A LOT AT SOME OF THE REASONS IN LENGTH
One of the main causes of pollution that happens in the ocean includes open-air storage and the absence of a processing structure for plastic waste that does not actively get recycled or reused. As part of its initiative, the company has said that it will prevent this type of waste from being exported to destinations where categorization, recycling, or recovery cannot be assured. However, the main reason to ban plastic scrap is that the most visible impacts of plastic wreckages are the digestion, suffocation, and entanglement of hundreds of sea species.
Several species of marine life such as seabirds, whales, fish, and turtles mistake plastic waste for prey; most then die of starvation as their stomachs become filled with plastic. They also suffer from lacerations, infections, reduced ability to swim, and internal injuries. Floating plastics also help transport invasive aquatic species.
Waste plastic also impacts human life, microplastics have been found in tap water, beer, and salt and are present in all samples collected in the world’s oceans, including the Wintry. Numerous chemicals used in the production of plastic materials are known to be hazardous and to interfere with the body’s endocrine system, causing progressive, reproductive, neurological, and immune disorders in both humans and wildlife. Newly, microplastics were found in human placentas but more research is needed to determine if this is a widespread problem.