Você está na página 1de 5

Plastic Bags

Twelve years ago, oceanographer Captain Charlie Moore was skippering his yacht the Alguita in the North Pacific. He sailed into a mass of floating plastic rubbish which took him and his crew a week to cross. This floating rubbish dump is now called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and doubles the size of the USA. The United Nations says there are now 18,000 pieces of plastic in every square kilometre of sea everywhere in the world. A walk along any beach will give you some idea of the seriousness of plastic pollution.

The trouble is, when we throw out plastic with the trash, the plastic doesnt go away. Plastic does not biodegrade. It photo degrades into smaller and smaller particles which then enter the food chain. Plastics contain cancer-causing chemicals such as vinyl chloride which travel along the food chain in increasing concentrations and end up in our fish and chips, along with hormone disruptors such as bisphenol A. Scientists try to tell us that we are killing ourselves as well as other animals. At least 200 species are, as I speak, being killed by plastic. Whales, dolphins, turtles and albatross confuse floating plastic, especially shopping bags and six pack rings, with jellyfish. A dead Minke whale, washed up on a Normandy beach, was found to have eaten plastic bags from supermarkets and had died a dreadful death.

8% of all the worlds oil production is for plastic. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, companies manufacture 5 billion plastic bags a year. Of all the plastic produced annually, half is for packaging which gets thrown out with the trash a few minutes after purchase. And 10% of all rubbish is plastic bags which take from 400 to 1000 years to degrade. Less than one per cent of plastic bags are recycled and only 4% of all other plastic waste, the reason being it is simply too expensive to do.

The same lobbies that work against electric vehicles and renewable energies, put governments under pressure not to act against plastic pollution. This is because plastic represents 8% of all the worlds oil production. These lobbies, acting on behalf of oil companies, represent an unsustainable approach to profit. To paraphrase the Cree Indian prophecy, only when we have wiped everything out will we realise that money cannot be eaten.

Some countries have rebelled and banned plastic bags. And the first was brave Bangladesh. Then China took the same decision and, according to CNN Asia, saves itself 37 million barrels of oil a year. Botswana, Canada, Israel, Kenya, Rwanda, Singapore and South Africa have also banned plastic bags. Notice how many of the worlds richest countries are not on this list. Its an absolute disgrace.

Alright, then. If we cant use plastic bags, how do we carry home the shopping? Take a back pack or a folding shopping trolley. Change supermarket to one that provides biodegradable bags, made from potato starch for example. Use consumer power.

Personally speaking, what I need to find now, is a supermarket that sells biodegradable bin liners, otherwise I still end up using plastic. I recently spent a week in New Zealand on honeymoon and saw that everyone was using special paper bin liners. I wish we did something similar here in Spain.

Think globally, act locally. A small Australian town is now one step ahead of the rest of the world. The inhabitants of Bundanoon in New South Wales have banned plastic bottles from the town. We need to follow their example and eliminate plastic from our lives, take care of the earth and vote for people we think will do the same.

1. The writer says that we can get an idea of how much plastic rubbish there is in the oceans 1. by sailing across the Pacific. 2. by taking a walk along any beach. 3. by travelling across the USA. 4. by looking at the sea. 2. The reader learns that toxic chemicals get into our food 1. from plastic bags from supermarkets. 2. when plastic becomes small enough to enter our food chain. 3. because plastic does not biodegrade. 4. because other animals are being killed by plastic. 3. In the last sentence of the third paragraph, what does 'it' refer to? 1. recycling 2. plastic waste 3. money 4. plastic bags 4. Which of the following best explains the Cree Indian prophecy? 1. If we destroy our environment, we will destroy ourselves. 2. Money isn't food. 3. Oil companies are polluting the earth. 4. People are greedy. 5. In the fifth paragraph the writer is angry because 1. not many of the world's richest countries have banned plastic bags. 2. Most of the countries are African. 3. countries aren't saving enough oil. 4. not many countries have banned plastic bags. 6. What does the reader learn about New Zealand? 1. People use biodegradable bags for the rubbish. 2. The supermarkets don't have plastic bags. 3. The writer was on holiday there. 4. It is a nuclear free country. 7. In the final paragraph the writer advises us to 1. take individual action. 2. stop buying plastic bottles. 3. stop voting. 4. visit Australia.

FCE Reading Part 1

Read the text and answer the questions below. You have 20 minutes.

Why the Crisis Happened

After the Wall Street Crash in 1929, the US Congress passed a new law called the Glass-Steagall Act history could not repeat itself. Fifty years later, Congress repealed this law and consequently, history repeat itself. There are two principal causes to the current global crisis. The first is overproduction a second is the deregulation of the financial markets, which is, in fact, a direct result of the first cause overproduction.

Since the Second World War, humans, in particular production engineers and economists, have becom at manufacturing on a large scale high quality goods by top brands that people want to buy. Engineers economists have used both robotics and the outsourcing of production to parts of the world where th labour is low. Fantastic products are made very cheaply, sent all over the world in containers and sold prices. All this has happened in a highly competitive environment.

This intense activity caused two important things to happen. The governments of manufacturing count China became very rich and formed the now famous sovereign wealth funds with the objective of inve this lovely capital. Investing in industry was unattractive as profit margins were very slim. Investors w bigger profits. Strict banking regulations also made life very difficult for investors. Secondly, all this caused a continued increase in the price of real estate, just like in the 1920s.

When the US Congress repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, investment banks and retail banks were able together again for the first time in 50 years. Next, not to be left behind, the European financial sect the European Union, mostly in secret, to liberate the European market. This deregulation put an end t transparency in the banking world. Hedge funds, whose investments are carried out under the cover o darkness, mushroomed. Simplicity was replaced by complexity and uncertain risk. Credit default swaps investors large payouts for loans gone bad and futures, which are more like bets than investments, of juicy returns. The world now had a stagnant real economy and a very busy financial sector. In the USA financial sector accounted for 40% of the nations total profits but less than 5% of the GNP.

Hungry investors then began speculating on the price of food commodities, especially rice and wheat a was when we saw the first signs of trouble. The price of wheat flour increased more than 25% due to speculation and the Spaghetti Riots broke out in Italy. Petrol prices increased further and further st Farmers complained that they could not afford to refuel their tractors and truck drivers went on str Spain.

On January 24 2008, the French investment bank Socit Gnrale announced that it had lost an asto billion dollars of its clients money from futures which went the wrong way. Next, in the space of just the price of a barrel of crude oil fell from $150 a barrel in July to less than fifty by October. Then w out about sub-prime loans. Investment banks and retail banks, working together, had lent vast quantit their clients money to high risk borrowers. This means borrowers who are likely to default on their h or mortgages because of low incomes and job instability. And guess what? They defaulted, handed bac to the house and the banks are now left with properties that nobody wants and whose value continues What a disaster! After that, it was the turn of the hedge funds. Many banks, such as Grupo Santande on investors money to hedge funds who then passed the money on to... Bernard Madoff.

Governments have now spent billions of taxpayers money because of the mistakes made by greedy an irresponsible bankers and The White House has said that the US deficit will rise to $1.6 trillion in 20 Bank of England puts the cost of the global crisis at $2.8 trillion but nobody really knows and nobody knows what all this means for the future. 1. In the first paragraph we learn that the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed 1. because it was no longer necessary. 2. to stop overproduction. 3. in order to regulate banks. 4. to free up financial markets. 2. Which of the following best explains why quality goods have become cheaper? 1. Quality goods are now manufactured using advanced technology and low salaries. 2. The quality of manufactured goods has improved dramatically. 3. production methods have improved a lot since WWII. 4. cheap overseas transport is now widely available. 3. In the third paragraph the writer explains that sovereign wealth funds were interested in 1. large profits. 2. safe investments. 3. helping their governments. 4. reinvesting in industry. 4. The risks involved in an investment now became 1. transparent. 2. difficult to ascertain. 3. lower. 4. higher. 5. Spanish truck drivers went on strike as a result of 1. sympathy for the farmers. 2. increased food prices. 3. fuel prices going up. 4. riots in Italy. 6. From what the text tells us about sub-prime loans, bankers can be described as 1. having great insight into financial markets. 2. not very intelligent.

3. skillful investors. 4. being caring about their clients' money. 7. From the article we understand that ordinary citizens 1. have to pay the bill for the banks' irresponsible behaviour. 2. have an uncertain future. 3. now have huge debts. 4. are angry with their governments.