We are literally living in the age of plastic, from our water bottles to clothes it is everywhere and we can’t escape from it now. Even my keyboard, which I am using to write this informative content, is made up of plastic. It is futile to count the uses of plastic here, in fact, we are over-dependent on it, that’s the bone of contention and the main focus of our discussion here. 50% of the plastic we use in our daily life is one-time use only. Ever wonder where all this plastic is going? Mostly, it is going in the water sources we use for drinking purpose and for fishing, be it river, lakes and the ocean and causing the catastrophe called the plastic pollution.
Are all types of Plastics causing pollution? – The 7 grades of plastic
Pros and Cons of using Plastic:
Plastic has some pros and many cons, depending on how we use it. After reading below given pros and cons, you can better understand, is it good or bad to use plastic.
- Plastic is a low-cost alternative to other products and more feasible too. Using the grocery bags has some less environmental damages but it is proven the fact that plastic is helpful in the incineration process to burn waste effectively.
- Plastic is helpful in keeping food fresh and prevent food wastages.
- Plastic can be recycled can be used more than one time which is not possible with grocery bags.
- Plastic parts have made the frame of cars and computers way lighter compared to other material frames.
- Plastic packages production is energy savvy as it uses only half as much energy as its alternative materials.
- Plastic is the single most contributor of land, ocean and rover pollution.
- It is non-biodegradable material and takes several years to decompose naturally in the environment.
- Some plastic cannot be recycled which means it keeps pilling and spreading everywhere.
- Foods packed in plastic containers contain a significant amount of BPA, same is the case with water filled in plastic bottles. BPA can cause reproductive cancer and diabetes like dangerous diseases.
- Animals, especially those living in the river bodies are suffering the most due to plastic pollution. Fishes can ingest plastics and sometimes it proved fatal for them as well. Humans can eat these affected animals, this way humans too can suffer from the plastic.
Consequences of Plastic Pollution on the Environment and Our Daily Life
We are in the middle of pollution mess, and sorry to say, we humans are 100% responsible for it. As the saying goes, what goes around comes around, we the human are now suffering slowly but surely. Below are the top 4 consequences of plastic pollution we have spread everywhere.
- We are already eating some of the plastic:
As stated earlier, some types of plastic are non-recyclable, which means they need to be buried or thrown away somewhere else. The best place to throw this garbage was obviously the river or ocean, thinking it will not come back to us. The current estimate of plastic waste present in the ocean is no less than 150 million metric tons. This plastic is being consumed by the ocean animals, particularly the fishes and we human being are eating these animals. In the last year alone some 92.6 million tonnes of fishes and other ocean animals were consumed worldwide. This is how plastic is becoming part of our body and causing different health problems including cancer.
2. Long lasting pollution:
Plastic has the capability to survive the harshest environmental conditions. Plastic is seen surviving the years of direct sunlight, floating the ocean and even the arctic freeze. This means plastic pollution is a somewhat permanent phenomenon. It is feared that plastic will last longer than humanity itself. The trash we are creating, our next generation will suffer its consequences.
3. Impacts on Ocean life:
Plastic is not affecting the humans only but its impacts on sea life are more pronounced. It is estimated that over 700 marine species are under threat due to the plastic presence in the ocean. Some analysts fear that this is just the beginning as it is estimated that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic waste by weight in the oceans than the whole of sea creatures.
4. It is more than the ocean
It is not only sea life which is facing the threat from increasing plastic amount. The land is equally affected by plastic dumping sites. The plastic dumping sites are not only affecting the natural life of the area but polluting the underground water sources as well. Only God knows when this trash will stop affecting us.
Time to Act is now: How to Reduce the Plastic Pollution
We can reduce plastic pollution by taking these simple steps.
- Every person needs to reduce the use of plastic on their own. You can use grocery bags for shopping purpose.
- If you can’t avoid the use of plastic, adopt the policy of reuse. Use the plastic made things as many time as it is possible to do so.
- Take simple steps to refuse the use of plastic. For example, refuse to drink beverages in soft glasses in the hotel if it is possible next time.
- Recycling of plastic can help in a great way. Only recycling can reduce half of plastic pollution.
- Try to remove trash in public places and refreshment places on your own.
- Spread the awareness about reducing the use of plastic starting from your own home. To avoid plastic pollution, awareness can help in a great manner.