BBC 6 Minute English | THE IMPACT OF PLASTIC | English CC | Daily Listening

source: Daily Listening    2016年10月10日

0:05 Hello, Neil.
0:06 Have you been shopping?
0:07 Yes, I went a bit mad with my credit card actually.
0:10 Gosh, I can see that!
0:11 But look at all those plastic bags.
0:13 Why don't you use your own bags?
0:15 You know what, I'm going to.
0:17 Because they're now charging 5p per bag!
0:20 Don't you follow the news, Neil?
0:22 It's a recent government initiative – which means a new plan for dealing with something
0:26 – in this case, to cut the number of thin plastic bags being given away in shops.
0:32 And the environmental impact of plastic is the subject of today's show.
0:35 Is England the first country to charge for these bags, Alice?
0:38 No – other countries in the UK started charging a few years ago.
0:42 And countries around the world including Bangladesh, South Africa, China, and Italy have actually
0:47 banned them altogether.
0:49 Interesting.
0:50 But I don't throw my bags away, Alice.
0:52 I put them under the kitchen sink.
0:54 Are you a hoarder, Neil?
0:57 That means someone who collects large amounts of stuff and can't throw things away.
1:01 Maybe I am…
1:03 But seriously, with the 5p charge I'm definitely going to recycle my plastic bags.
1:08 Good.
1:09 Now let me ask you today's quiz question, Neil: How many tonnes of plastic rubbish from
1:14 the UK is being sent to China each year for recycling?
1:18 Is it: a) 20,000?
1:22 b) 200,000? or c) 2,000,000?
1:30 Well I think it's … a) 20,000.
1:34 We'll find out if you're right or wrong later on.
1:36 But first, why are plastic bags bad for the environment?
1:40 Because they're too thin?
1:42 And when they break all your shopping falls out?
1:44 That must be it.
1:46 No.
1:47 They take hundreds of years to decompose – or break down by natural chemical processes.
1:52 And also people don't dispose of them properly.
1:55 They litter our streets.
1:56 They clog – or block – drains and sewers.
1:59 They spoil the countryside and damage wildlife.
2:02 Well that's quite a list.
2:03 So what's the solution then, Alice?
2:06 Well to either recycle or stop using plastic bags.
2:10 But let's hear about the pharmaceutical company with another idea.
2:14 This is BBC reporter John Maguire.
2:19 At this company laboratory in North London they're testing how bags made with a special
2:24 additive break down when exposed to sunlight, oxygen and heat…
2:29 The technology was discovered by a British scientist in the 1970s and is now sold to
2:35 around half the world's countries.
2:37 In some, biodegradable bags are backed by law.
2:43 And biodegradable means able to break down naturally in a way that isn't harmful to the
2:48 environment.
2:49 So adding small amounts of a chemical to the plastic – a special additive – allows
2:54 the plastic to break down in the open air.
2:57 But if the technology was discovered back in the 1970s, why aren't these biodegradable
3:02 bags being used in every country by now?
3:04 I have no idea, Alice.
3:06 Maybe they aren't as strong as non-biodegradable bags.
3:09 I like a good strong bag, myself, you see.
3:12 Alright.
3:13 Well, just go and buy yourself some canvas bags, Neil!
3:15 In fact, I'll get you some for your birthday.
3:17 Thank you.
3:18 You're very welcome.
3:19 Now, moving on.
3:20 Out of around 300 million tons of plastic produced every year, some goes in landfill
3:26 – a place where our rubbish is buried under the earth – but about 10% of plastic ends
3:31 up in the sea.
3:33 Let's listen to Biologist Dr Pennie Lindeque from Plymouth Marine Laboratory talking about
3:37 this.
3:38 We're already finding that there's a lot of microplastics in the sea and that some of
3:43 these microplastics are actually being ingested by the zooplankton that live there.
3:48 We're also concerned this could end up being passed up through the food chain to food which
3:53 is destined for human consumption so it could end up on your or my plate.
4:00 What are microplastics, Alice?
4:02 They're small plastic fragments less than 5mm in size.
4:07 You find them in cosmetic products such as facial scrubs, shower gel, and toothpaste.
4:12 And I'm guessing that ingested means 'eaten'?
4:15 Yes, the zooplankton – tiny little animals in the sea – mistake the microplastics for
4:20 food and eat them.
4:22 And because the zooplankton and humans are in the same food chain – they're at the
4:26 bottom and we're at the top – but we're still connected – we may end up eating them
4:30 and the microplastics inside them!
4:33 That doesn't sound very tasty!
4:35 Now a food chain, by the way, refers to a series of living things where each creature
4:40 feeds on the one below it in the chain.
4:43 Indeed.
4:44 OK.
4:45 Remember my question from earlier?
4:47 I asked: How many tonnes of plastic rubbish from the UK is being sent to China each year
4:52 for recycling?
4:53 Is it… a) 20,000?
4:57 b) 200,000? or c) 2,000,000?
5:02 And I said a) 20,000.
5:04 Yes but you're wrong, I'm afraid.
5:06 The answer is b) 200,000 tonnes.
5:10 And that statistic comes from the University of Cambridge in the UK.
5:15 That's a load of rubbish!
5:17 Get it – load of rubbish?
5:18 Very good.
5:19 Can we hear today's words again please?
5:20 We certainly can.
5:21 Here they are: initiative
5:25 hoarder decompose
5:31 clog biodegradable
5:36 additive landfill
5:41 microplastics ingested
5:46 zooplankton food chain
5:49 Well, that brings us to the end of this 6 Minute English.
5:53 We hope you enjoyed today's environmentally-friendly programme.
5:56 Please do join us again soon.