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Dmitry Yemelyanov

Year-Prize: The 11th Eco-generation Environmental Essay Competition     Item: Beat Plastic Pollution

Comments 6 Comments    recommendations 2 recommendations

40 Seconds


Dmitry Yemelyanov (Ukraine)

Honorable Mention


Hey there! In case you are reading this, I want you to do one thing: hold your breath.  You will have approximately 40 – 50 seconds, as that is the maximal time for an untrained person to stay without oxygen. So take a deep breath and let’s begin. You may wonder, why you should do this, well the answer is quite simple: we are preparing for our inevitable future.
Each of us is a kind of a dreamer. We usually tend to believe that all our problems can easily vanish, just like they do in a magic trick, but they don’t. The funny thing is that most us neglect the fact that when the magician puts the rabbit in his hat, it doesn’t really disappear, it just goes into a hidden partition in the magician’s table. People made plastic waste one of the “rabbits” of the 21st century. We were insatiable in popping it in the secret departments of our planet with the help of pipes, chimneys and drains, never minding of how it influences the environment. Great job, as now plastic is everywhere.
Wait. Do not forget that you only have 40 seconds until you choke. You need to be quick. I think it’s high time to unveil the truth:  you will choke anyway, as when you take your first  breath you’ll let the dioxin into your body. One may say that it’s just a stupid joke. No, it’s not. Remember, you have decided to burn the plastic that was overflooding our streets and oceans?  Lucky us, as smog was just the beginning.
 A wise man said: “Plastic is a classic case of how people are capable of turning every blessing that they have into a curse upon themselves”. We are experiencing the fastest rate of extinction ever, as plastic is already in the food chain. Let’s have a look at the plastic pollution problem from the perspective of those, who are experiencing its worst consequences – sea birds and animals.
  Every living creature needs to eat, but unlike humans, sea birds do not have an impressive range of various shops offering enormous spectrum of goods. Instead, what they do have, is a great variety of plastic. Simple question, what do people usually do, when they or their children have accidentally eaten a bubble gum, or some plastic detail? Call an ambulance, go to the hospital, just trying to get rid of this stuff in every way, right?
 Well, the case with the sea birds and other water animals is  drastically different: 44% of seabirds and 22% of whales have plastic in their stomachs, but contrary to humans,  they do not have any hospitals or ambulances, the only thing they can do, is to wait for an inexorable end in dreadful tortures. Any pangs of remorse?
  I am still a believer, I do know that plastic pollution is a battle that we can win.  For this reason, I offer you the last chance to change everything. When we see the fire starting, what do we usually do first?  Save the people and remove the source of combustion. The same thing with the plastic pollution, in case you want to beat it, we should refuse using it.
Every day we make vital decision whether to put our garbage into the trash bin, or just leave it nearby, whether to prefer plastic bottles and dishes, or buy eco-friendly ones, we even choose between paper and plastic bags. Each time we are going to buy something made of plastic, we should question ourselves: “Do I really need this?” -  and if each of us prefers just a few changes, we will become a groundswell that is needed to turn the tide of plastic pollution away. You can join the refill movement and carry a reusable bottle or coffee cup in public, pulling out a metal straw from your bag. There is a way in which we can also help the soil, as its health is critical for water quality. The more organic we have in the soil, the better it can hold on the nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus.
 When we put this on a large scale, there won’t be colonies of majestic seabirds declining, remote islands and beaches covered with tons of plastic, and children, swimming in the rivers that are choking with carrier bags and bottles. The cure for our planet exists, we are the cure!


Viraaj Kulshreshtha

  • Manjesh Jha says :
    Congratulations Dmitry.
    Posted 31-10-2018 19:58

  • Aman Gangwar says :
    congrats Dmitry.
    Posted 31-10-2018 19:48

Kajal Saini

  • Kajal Saini says :
    Congratulations Dmitry.
    Posted 26-10-2018 13:04

Archa B Jayan

  • Archa B Jayan says :
    Congrats Dmitry Yemelyanov!!!
    Posted 24-10-2018 00:55

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