Why has plastic become a worldwide issue?
We’ve depended on plastic as an inexpensive, flexible, and long-lasting material since the late twentieth century. However, since most plastic products take years to degrade, much of the plastic that has discarded in landfills remains — and we continue to produce and use more of it. In developing countries, it’s often discarded carelessly on land or in waterways before ending up in the ocean, negatively impacting marine life. The truth is that the amount of plastic on our planet — and the amount that is still being made — is just too much for us to handle and proper plastic waste management.
Ocean pollution due to plastic waste
The problem of plastic waste in our oceans is a worldwide issue, but how does our trash get into the water in the first place?
On the other hand, Plastic waste produced in developing countries, and dumped in open, uncontrolled dump sites or thrown into rivers and streams. Winds can carry plastics from landfill sites into bodies of water such as nearby rivers then after sea.
What percentage of plastic waste ends up in the ocean?
About eight million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans each year (according to U.K. Gov data). Some researchers predict that by 2025, this number will have doubled, while others predict that by 2050, our oceans will have more plastic than fish.
Ocean currents push waste into the center over time, forming massive gyres of plastic (the largest is in the North Pacific, between Hawaii and California, which contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic).
Plastic items eventually break down into several smaller parts and polluting the ocean and easily swallowed by marine animals.
What are the advantages of reducing down plastic waste?
Reducing our plastic waste has many advantages, including the preservation of natural resources, environmental protection, and cost savings.
The following are some of the advantages of reducing plastic consumption:
- Reducing the volume of new raw materials used to reduce emissions
- It helps to conserve resources.
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which are a cause of global warming.
- Reduces the amount of waste that needs to be recycled or sent to landfills/incinerators in developed countries.
- It saves money because recycled products are less expensive than buying new plastic.
How would you contribute to the reduction of plastic waste?
To minimize the amount of plastic waste generates by your business or yourself, consider switching to paper or glass wherever possible, as these materials commonly recycle.
Reducing (or, better still, eliminating) the use of plastic water bottles, bags, and straws will make a significant difference.
Here are some simple changes you can make in your day-to-day life:
- Carry a metal water bottle to stop buying more plastic water bottles.
- Buy used — refurbished office furniture stores also have pieces that are as good as new.
- When you go shopping, bring reusable bags with you, such as cloth bags.
- Choosing less-packaged goods for your corporation’s shopping and procurement is one way to make a big difference over time.
- If you haven’t already, make the switch to paper, glass, or metal (preferable it being a reusable option)
Raising concern about the harms of plastic waste
If we are to address the problems of plastic waste and pollution, we must raise awareness.
Plastic pollution has properly addressed by documentaries and television programs, as well as awareness campaigns in schools and universities. However, there is still a long way to go in terms of changing people’s attitudes and behaviors toward plastic, especially in our “disposable” community.
You may start by adopting more environmentally friendly practices, plastic waste management process, and attitudes toward plastic.