Major Danger: Plastic Pollution
What is Plastic Pollution?
The definition of plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic products in the environment, which negatively impacts ecosystems, land, animals and even our own lives. Plastic is a non-biodegradable product, which means it takes hundreds of years to disappear. It therefore accumulates in large amounts and pollutes both the land and the sea, being stored in areas all over the globe, the majority sent to landfills and other dumping sites. Though plastic production is extremely harmful to the environment, since it began to be mass-produced in the 1950s, it has grown in popularity, becoming one of the most produced and used materials in the world. This is extremely bad for the environment, and if solutions are not found to curb the amount of plastic produced and the effects that this has on the environment, the future of the planet and the lives of those to come in future generations may be affected.
What Are Microplastics?
Plastics are produced in different ways and they come in different sizes. Microplastics refer to plastic that measures less than 5 millimeters in length and they are extremely harmful to the environment, more so than larger plastics. Though it may seem like they are not as harmful due to the fact they are smaller, their small size means that they can land up in oceans and water supply, and be ingested by sea life and even humans. Ingesting these plastics can lead to toxins seeping into the body and can even result in death. Microplastics come from beauty products and they are also created when other plastics start to break down, not disappearing but just becoming smaller and smaller in size.
The State of Plastic Use in the World
Since the 1950s, when the mass production of plastic started to become popular, it has quickly become one of the most used and developed materials in the world, utilised in just about every industry all over the world. The production of plastic has been increasing each and every year, as the need for more of the product has grown with the population. Just the production of plastic bags, one of the most commonly used plastic products, has increased exponentially each and every year since the 1950s, where it became so popular that it had to be produced in masses. The state of plastic use in the world today is only becoming worse, and with each new plastic product that is developed, more and more of the environment is needed for dumping these products once they have been used.
What are the Disadvantages of Plastic?
The effects of plastic pollution on the environment are
Plastic Is Cannot Be Recycled Infinitely
One of the indisputable facts about plastic pollution is that it cannot be recycled too many times as it loses its quality each time. Though plastic products can be recycled, the number of times that it can be turned into a new and useful product is not infinite, and once it has been recycled too many times, the quality lowers and it becomes less and less useful, until it can only be dumped in a landfill or into the ocean.
Plastic Will Not Disappear For Centuries
Plastic pollution is detrimental because the product is non-biodegradable, meaning that it will be around for hundreds of years. Biodegradable products are able to break down and form part of the earth, ensuring that it will not be something that can harm the environment or any animals. Once a biodegradable product has broken down, usually by microorganisms who feed off of these products, it becomes part of the environment and therefore does not cause any pollution. Plastic products are non-biodegradable, meaning that fungi and microbes are unable to break it down entirely, leaving pieces of the product behind which pollutes the environment.
A Plasticized Planet And Oceans
Whether you are looking at plastic pollution in the ocean or on land, the accumulation of this non-biodegradable substance has detrimental effects on all facets of life. A plasticized planet and ocean is the only possible future to see if we do not curb the production of this harmful product. Plastic development and the creation of harmful plastic products has a profound impact on the land, sea, animals and nearly all facets of life. The accumulation of this product on land and sea can change how an entire ecosystem works and can lead to the killing off of important species.
The Future of Plastic Pollution
If the production of plastic is not curbed, the future of all life on earth could look very grim. As Plastic pollution on land and in the sea becomes a bigger concern, becoming more polluted with non-biodegradable substances, there is less and less chance of the earth being given a chance to heal. The future of plastic pollution involves curbing the amount of plastic that is produced and finding ways to use the plastic products now in new and inventive ways, as to ensure that it does not pollute the environment.
What Can Be Done for Plastic Pollution?
When it comes to coming up with plastic pollution solutions, it is vital that towns, cities and countries try to reduce the amount of plastic that is produced. Plastic pollution in the sea and plastic pollution on beaches is showing no signs of reducing, as large heaps of waste are washed up on shore all the time, in just about every corner of the earth. Reducing, reusing and recycling the products that have already been made to ensure that the progress of plastic creation is slowed is the only way to ensure that this issue does not negatively impact generations to come.
What can we do in our daily lives to reduce plastic pollution?
The causes of plastic pollution of centred around human production alone, and in order to reduce the impact that these products have on the environment, we need to reduce the production rate at which these different items are produced. The solution to the reduction of plastic pollution in the environment can start small, and by simply not using plastic bags when we go to shops, we can each help to reduce the amount of plastic produced. Like with any product, production is determined b y the needs required by the population and as soon as these needs lower, so does the need to produce certain products. By only purchasing items that are not made of plastic or stored within plastic, you are reducing the need for the development of the product and can help reduce the overall effects that these kinds of plastic products have on the environment.