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【BBC每日六分钟英语】塑料对环境的影响

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塑料对环境的影响

The impact of plastic

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Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m Alice...
大家好,欢迎收听六分钟英语,我是爱丽丝。
… and I’m Neil. Hello.
大家好,我是尼尔。
Hello, Neil. Have you been shopping?
你好,尼尔。你去购物了吗?
Yes, I went a bit mad with my credit card actually.
是的,差点刷爆信用卡。
Gosh, I can see that! But look at all those plastic bags.Why don’t you use your own bags?
天,我看出来了。看上去全都是塑料袋啊。你怎么不用自己的袋子呢?
You know what, I’m going to. Because they’re now charging 5p per bag!
我以后是打算用自己的袋子了。因为塑料袋现在收费五便士。
Don’t you follow the news, Neil? It’s a recent government initiative – which means a new plan for dealing with something – in this case, to cut the number of thin plastic bags being given away in shops.And the environmental impact of plastic is the subject of today’s show.
你不知道这个新闻吗?这是最近政府的一项倡议,也就是处理某件事的新计划,政府的这项提议是想减少超市中塑料袋的使用。今天节目要谈论的主题就是塑料袋对环境的影响。
Is England the first country to charge for these bags, Alice?
英格兰是第一个对塑料袋收费的地区吗?
No – other countries in the UK started charging a few years ago.And countries around the world including Bangladesh, South Africa, China, and Italy have actually banned them altogether.
不是,英国其他地区几年前就实行这项政策了。世界其他国家,如孟加拉国、南非、中国和意大利也一同抵制塑料袋的使用。
Interesting. But I don’t throw my bags away, Alice.I put them under the kitchen sink.
很有意思。但是我并没有扔塑料袋。我把它们放在厨房洗涤池下面。
Are you a hoarder, Neil?That means someone who collects large amounts of stuff and can’t throw things away.
你属于囤积者吗?囤积者是指喜欢收集大量物品,而且不会把它们丢弃的人。
Maybe I am… But seriously, with the 5p charge I’m definitely going to recycle my plastic bags.
也许我是吧……但是老实说,如果要付5便士,我一定会循环利用自己的塑料袋。
Good. Now let me ask you today’s quiz question, Neil:How many tonnes of plastic rubbish from the UK is being sent to China each year for recycling? Is it:a) 20,000?b) 200,000?or c) 2,000,000?
很好。现在到了回答问题的时间了。每年有多少吨塑料垃圾从英国运往中国去循环利用?a) 20,000吨?b) 200,000吨?还是 c) 2,000,000吨?
Well I think it’s … a) 20,000.
我认为是a) 20,000吨。
We’ll find out if you’re right or wrong later on.But first, why are plastic bags bad for the environment?
之后我们再看你回答的是否正确。首先,为什么塑料袋会对环境造成损害?
Because they’re too thin?And when they break all your shopping falls out?That must be it.
因为塑料袋太薄了?东西太多会撑坏塑料袋,使东西掉出来?一定是这样。
No. They take hundreds of years to decompose – or break down by natural chemical processes. And also people don’t dispose of them properly. They litter our streets.They clog – or block – drains and sewers.They spoil the countryside and damage wildlife.
不是的,是因为他们需要上千年才能完全分解,这是自然的化学过程。而且人们经常随意丢弃塑料袋,使得我们的街道看起来脏乱不堪。塑料袋还会堵塞排水沟和下水道。乡村乱掷的塑料袋还会破坏野生动物的生存环境。
Well that’s quite a list.So what’s the solution then, Alice?
确实有很多问题。但是有什么解决方法吗?
Well to either recycle or stop using plastic bags. But let’s hear about the pharmaceutical company with another idea.This is BBC reporter John Maguire.
要么进行再循环处理,要么停止使用塑料袋。我们来听听制药公司提出的另一个想法。下面来听BBC记者John Maguire的报道。
At this company laboratory in North London they’re testing how bags made with a special additive break down when exposed to sunlight, oxygen and heat… The technology was discovered by a British scientist in the 1970s and is now sold to around half the world’s countries. In some, biodegradable bags are backed by law.
在伦敦北部这家公司的实验室,他们正在试验含有特殊添加剂的塑料袋,在遇到光照、氧气和高温时,分解的状况如何。这项技术是英国一位科学家于20世纪70年代发明的,如今全世界一半以上的国家都买进了此技术。在一些国家,法律中明文规定必须使用可生物降解的塑料袋。
And biodegradable means able to break down naturally in a way that isn’t harmful to the environment.
可生物降解是指能够自然分解,不会对环境造成损害。
So adding small amounts of a chemical to the plastic – a special additive – allows the plastic to break down in the open air.But if the technology was discovered back in the 1970s, why aren’t these biodegradable bags being used in every country by now?
在塑料中添加轻微的化学品,也就是特殊的添加剂,使得塑料袋能够在空气中分解。但如果这项技术20世纪70年代就已发明,为何可生物降解塑料袋到如今才被广泛使用呢?
I have no idea, Alice.Maybe they aren’t as strong as non-biodegradable bags. I like a good strong bag, myself, you see.
我也不知道。也许他们没有非生物降解塑料袋结实。我喜欢非常结实的袋子。
Alright. Well, just go and buy yourself some canvas bags, Neil!In fact, I’ll get you some for your birthday.
你可以买一些帆布包。你生日的时候我可以送你几个。
Thank you.
谢谢。
You’re very welcome. Now, moving on. Out of around 300 million tons of plastic produced every year, some goes in landfill – a place where our rubbish is buried under the earth – but about 10[%] of plastic ends up in the sea. Let’s listen to Biologist Dr Pennie Lindeque from Plymouth Marine Laboratory talking about this.
不客气。我们继续说。每年会产生3亿吨塑料,一些被送入垃圾填埋场,那里垃圾会被埋在地下,还有10[%]的塑料会被扔进大海。我们听听普利茅斯海洋研究所的生物学家Pennie Lindeque就此事的看法。
We’re already finding that there’s a lot of microplastics in the seaand that some of these microplastics are actually being ingested by the zooplankton that live there.We’re also concerned this could end up being passed up through the food chain to foodwhich is destined for human consumption so it could end up on your or my plate.
我们已经在海洋中发现了很多微塑料,一些微塑料被海洋中的浮游生物吞食消化。我们担心这最终会因为食物链进入人类体内,也许这些吞食塑料的浮游生物会被端上我们的餐桌。
What are microplastics, Alice?
什么是微塑料呢?
They’re small plastic fragments less than 5mm in size. You find them in cosmetic products such as facial scrubs, shower gel, and toothpaste.
这是指直径小于5毫米的微小的塑料碎片。在化妆品中很常见,如去角质膏、沐浴液和牙膏。
And I’m guessing that ingested means ’eaten’?
我猜消化就是指食用。
Yes, the zooplankton – tiny little animals in the sea – mistake the microplastics for food and eat them. And because the zooplankton and humans are in the same food chain– they’re at the bottom and we’re at the top – but we’re still connected – we may end up eating them and the microplastics inside them!
是的,浮游生物是指生活在海洋里的微小生物,会误食微塑料。因为浮游生物和人类处于相同的食物链。他们在食物链底部,我们人类在食物链顶端,我们相互联系,也许最终我们会食用浮游生物,从而也食用了其体内的微塑料。
That doesn’t sound very tasty!Now a food chain, by the way, refers to a series of living things where each creature feeds on the one below it in the chain.
这听起来太恶心了。顺便提一下,食物链是指是各种生物通过一系列吃与被吃的关系彼此联系起来的序列。
Indeed. OK. Remember my question from earlier?I asked: How many tonnes of plastic rubbish from the UK is being sent to China each year for recycling?Is it…a) 20,000?b) 200,000?or c) 2,000,000?
好的,还记得之前的问题吧?我问你每年有多少吨塑料垃圾从英国运往中国去循环利用?a) 20,000吨?b) 200,000吨?还是 c) 2,000,000吨?
And I said a) 20,000.
我选的是a) 20,000吨。
Yes but you’re wrong, I’m afraid. The answer is b) 200,000 tonnes. And that statistic comes from the University of Cambridge in the UK.
很抱歉你答错了。正确答案是b) 200,000吨。这一数据来自英国的剑桥大学。
That’s a load of rubbish! Get it – load of rubbish?
好多垃圾啊。是用(load)这个量词吧?
Very good.
是的,很好。
Can we hear today’s words again please?
我们再来听一下今天的单词?
We certainly can. Here they are:
当然,今天听到的单词有:
initiative
倡议
hoarder
囤积者
decompose
降解
clog
堵塞
biodegradable
可生物降解的
additive
添加剂
landfill
垃圾填埋场
microplastics
微塑料
ingested
消化
zooplankton
浮游生物
food chain
食物链
Well, that brings us to the end of this 6 Minute English.We hope you enjoyed today’s environmentally-friendly programme. Please do join us again soon.
今天的六分钟英语就到这里。希望你们喜欢这期有关环境保护的节目。下次再会。
Bye.
再见。

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