Today the world is facing several types of pollution like water pollution, air pollution and land pollution which are affecting the environment and hence all other aspects of nature and humans. Today in this article we are going to discuss about plastic pollution which plays a role as the nutrient of all other pollution.
According to definition Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass and often consist of some other substances also.
Let us start the discussion with it’s ill-effects on our daily lives :-
Plastic as the pollutant and its effects on living creatures :
Air, water and foods are three essential natural resources that make life possible on the earth and unfortunately plastic is affecting the all three very badly and results as a dominant cause of air pollution, water pollution and soil pollution.
Let’s look at statement correlating the plastic and the forms of pollution together :
1. Plastic as a source of air pollution:-
Plastic is made up of harmful polymers which can’t be disposed of completely for a number of years, therefore people prefers to burn them in air which consequently produces gases like furans dioxins,, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (better known as BCPs) into the atmosphere, and possess a lot of harmful impacts on human and animal health.
2. Plastic as a water pollutant:-
Plastic remains unaffected by humidity and water so it also exists in water bodies for a number of years causing water pollution. World plastic production is increasing everywhere and grew from some 1.5 million tonnes (about 1.7 million tons) per year in 1950 to an estimated 275 million tonnes (303.1 million tons) by 2010 and 359 million tonnes (nearly 396 million tons) by 2018; between 4.8 million and 12.7 million tonnes (5.3 million and 14 million tons) are discarded into the oceans annually by countries with ocean coastlines.
Above facts are related to the amount of plastic disposed off in water bodies like oceans and rivers, as described in the picture.
3. Plastic as a land pollutant:-
Starting from carrying bags, wrappers used in packaging, bottled water, we use plastic in our daily lives on a huge scale. Consequently, we don’t pay enough attention to the proper disposal and often throw them anywhere on the streets, on-road or in fields. As plastic being a non-biodegradable substance, it remains in soil and thus causes pollution at a large scale.
Effects on living creatures:
Because of its constituent particles plastic is harmful for living creatures also either it’s Humans or the innocent animals and birds.
Plastic burning causes serious health problems related to our respiratory system , the food packaged in plastic wrappers becomes toxic and causes food poisoning.
So it can be said that the consequences of plastic pollution are alarming for us as a human. Today the world needs to minimise the use of plastic to save underwater biodiversity because if current trends continue we will have to face irreparable damage to our oceans. So avoid this disastrous usage of plastic as it is a serious threat to our ecosystem.
Causes of plastic pollution:-
Some main reasons behind the problem are discussed below ,let’s have a look on them –
- Plastic culture –
Did you ever think that today plastic has reached everywhere we can imagine? From bottled water to packaged food we are conveniently using it. We find it suitable to go out for marketing without jute bags. We have become habitual to use plastic and this ‘love’ for plastic is resulting in the form of plastic culture.
Plastic culture is responsible for giving birth to plastic garbage because most of the plastic things we use are of the single use in their nature.
- Wrong disposal –
After the use of plastic it comes to manners of disposal. Because of plastic culture we every day produce a huge amount of plastic . Often we don’t care about the importance of a safe and scientific disposal of this garbage which also causes the unnecessary spread of plastics in the open.
- Nature of plastic –
Nature of plastic is also responsible for plastic pollution. We know that plastic is non-biodegradable, it can’t be dissolved in water and plastic burning has very toxic effects. Therefore , to minimise the bad effects of plastic pollution we need to avoid using plastic as much as possible.
Resolutions of plastic pollution:-
We can divide the resolutions into three parts :-
- On the individual level
- Government initiatives
- Process if recycling
A. By ensuring active role of every individual :
It’s the first step which we need to take to control the problem. There are a number of things that we can do — from running public awareness campaigns to offering incentives for recycling, to introducing levies or even banning certain products outright.
As an individual we must pledge to say no to single-use plastic by this small action we can ensure the active contribution against plastic pollution. We can start the fight against it by saying no to polythene and developing a habit to use jute bags for marketing purposes.
B. Government Initiatives :
Fighting against plastic pollution needs the attention of government authorities too. Realising the consequences of plastic pollution many national and local bodies have been set up to regulate the plastic from its production to its proper disposal. Government administrations seem to be truly serious about the problem which is bringing some positive changes for example In the last decade, dozens of national and local governments around the world have adopted policies to discourage the use of single-use plastic. And the number continues to grow. In this context, Africa stands out as the continent is an example for the rest of the world as it did much better in the direction of the ban on the plastic.
C. Recycling the plastic garbage :
The biggest instrument we have against plastic is recycling technology. It’s the only effective way to reduce the amount of plastic garbage. Recycling means a process of reuse of plastic products. There are some reusable plastic products which can be used again and again. Today instead of this there are some other methods to reuse the plastic garbage like thermal power plants are likely to adopt a technology to consume plastic in electricity production. Another example of the same kind effort is the roads made up of plastic garbage are becoming popular. By adopting new technologies we can fight this problem in an effective way.
We can conclude the above observation in following points :-
- The problem of plastic is more serious than any other problem because it gives birth to other types of pollution problems.
- Without solving the plastic problem it’s impossible to clean the atmosphere and to save our ecosystems.
- A small step like careful disposal of plastic can defeat the plastic pollution.
- Recycling is the most effective way to get rid of this cancerous problem therefore everybody must contribute in this process as much as possible.