In the midst of global environment crisis, staying in oblivion of environmental issues in New York City may pose a potential problem by any resident of New York.
New York, with a population estimated at 8.6 million residents (making it a larger population than 38 states including Montana, Washington and Colorado) is about the third heavy polluter in global ranking.
Some top environmental issues in New York include Renewable energy, Waste management, Water quality, Food waste amongst others.
Impacts of environmental issues in New York
It is estimated that New Yokers use 23 billion plastic bags annually, made from an estimate value of 12 million barrels of oil; and a whooping 50% of these single use plastic bags end up as litters.
These litters harm aquatics leading to suffocation or death, some aquatic animals mistake these litters for food and ingest them thereby predisposing humans who feed on these aquatic animals to dangerous chemicals as poly chlorinated biphynels, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals that would have been trapped by micro plastic litters before ingestion by the aquatics. Toxic plastics have been found in seafood humans eat.
Nevertheless, exploring sustainable methods to reduce the amount of plastic litters that end up in landfills and waterways seem viable solutions to tackling the environmental issues highlighted.
Every resident of New York has a role to play.
Recycling and upcycling are good sustainable methods of waste management.
Recycling trash can reduce trash that end up in landfills by up to 60%. One easy way yo start recycling trash is by donation, what you call trash may be useful to someone else. Another very important point to note before engaging in recycling that involves machines, would be segregation of trash into types. Mixing trash types makes recycling cumbersome and uninteresting for both start ups and commercial firms.
You can segregate into various recyclables- paper, glass, plastic, metals, e-waste, organic and hazardous (batteries, light bulbs, pesticides, paints, automobile fluids etc). Also note that certain types of trash especially those from medical and clinical organizations have guidelines for management and disposal. Hence those who generate these kinds of waste need to contact relevant authorities to ensure close supervision during disposal and recycling where necessary.
Upcycling in New York City
Upcycling on the other hand, is a form of recycling that adds value to waste trash giving them more quality and usefulness. It is a way of creatively utilizing what would have been referred to as waste, trash useless, and transforming into new products. Recycling and Upcycling amongst other benefits utilizes less energy, saves energy that would been used in production using new raw materials.
The government also has it’s specific roles to make laws and policies as well as ensure implementation of the laws.
Interestingly, January 7 2020, could be referred, as a day to reckon as Governor Cuomo Andrew gave his 2020 speech highlighting great plans to solve environmental issues as priority , this includes a $3 billion environment bond act for restoration of natural resources with special focus on efforts that will make New York resilient to the impact of CLIMATE CHANGE.
Plastic Bag Ban in NYC
As a follow up on sustainability plan, after the creation of the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force March 2017; Governor Cuomo on Earth Day 2019, signed the bill to ban single-use plastic bags to take effect from March 2020. This is specifically to reduce litter in New York, as well as cut down on greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the production and disposal of plastic bags including emissions from transportation of plastic bags to landfills. This is a welcome development on the part of the government.
The environment is what we all have in common, and everyone is a stakeholder of the environment hence there is need for a strong synergy in fighting environmental issues in New York City to achieve a sustainable state and city.
Disadvantages of Plastic Bags in NYC
Plastic bags are one of the Environmental Issues in New York City. If plastic bags are going to end up in nature. This is going to take a very long time to damage.
In the environment, polymer bags can slab out stomach of birds, can make difficult the life of sea animals by covering the surface of water and can danger the life of other animals. They are going to die slowly then, or going to suffer from a lot of pain.
In nature, plastic bags (most of plastic bags) will soar on water. The thickness is lower as compared to water or sea water. However, some polymers, few in amount are weightier than water, and will descend to the least. There they will residue, and so be a less ecologically problem.
Some polymers like as are POM, PVDF, and PVC. Polymers not probable to be used in consumer bags anymore to save nature. Usually it is being used in some special bags only, for engineering use. But plastic bags can be made heavier, for so, they will be able to sink in water down to the bottom, and the problem that are relating to the creatures of nature in the atmosphere would be less.
some bags have additional materials that can be a major cause of an ecological problem. And these materials are toxic enough to ruin the life of birds, animals of sea and other animals of earth too. The things are actually depending on national lawmaking authorities. But the list can go so long, like stabilizers like BPA, phosphate, UV-stab and so on.
The most important thing to notice is that the things that are affecting our environment are not only affecting the environment although they are affecting us too, making toxic the air so, it could be so hard to breathe us in the air after passing some years. So, this is the time to secure our future by avoiding the use of harmful materials like plastic bags and unnatural ways to disable them.