Plastic pollution facts are that we are all surrounded by plastic products in everyday life.
The effects of plastic pollution on environment is causing severe injuries in humans and millions of dead animals.
12.7 million tonnes is the amount reached of plastic in the oceans every year. More than 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die. Almost 100% of baby sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs and one in three fish caught for human consumption contains plastic.
Big issue with the plastic bags pollution, they end up as deadly waste in landfills and the oceans. China and Indonesia are the top sources of plastic bags clogging up global sea lanes. Together, both nations account for more than a third of global plastic.
Human activity is the biggest plastic pollution causes and littering is one of the biggest ways that plastic ends up in the oceans. The world is efficient in manufacturing plastics but totally inefficient when the plastics need to be discarded. In 2018, China announced it would no longer buy most plastic waste from countries like the United States because most of the recyclables were contaminated.
Article by Rachel Dolle.
Journalism Student, King’s College London (KCL)
Praw is the mascot of Passions,
Praw is the mascot of Let’s Prowess.
22nd January 2021
Hello everyone, before explaining a little more about plastic pollution and answer possible questions that you may have in your mind, surely you have already heard about The Greenest Contest.
For those who are starting to follow Let’s Prowess, The Greenest contest is a great contest created by the same Let’s Prowess. You can participate by sharing your passion for nature through creative ideas, solutions, interesting information, experiences as an environmental activist, or any aimed actions in order to take care of our planet.
There is also an online chat where you can write an emergency or unfair nature situation, or you can also upload a picture showing the injustice you want to claim.
Here I add the 3rd contestant which I loved
Opening up the subject, plastic pollution is one of the most important issues that need to be addressed in the world today. You might be wondering, “What is plastic pollution?
Plastic pollution is the accumulation in the environment of synthetic plastic products to the point where they create problems for wildlife and their habitats as well as for human populations.
Negligence is the main plastic pollution cause. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of marine litter comes from land. This pollution comes mainly from household waste, which is poorly recycled, dumped in landfills or abandoned in nature.
In the next lovely video of WWF you will find a different perspective about plastic pollution definition
We are producing over 380 million tons of plastic every year, and some reports indicate that up to 50% of that is for single-use purposes or utilised for just a few moments, but on the planet for at least several hundred years.
Some plastic pollution statistics,
- Around half of all the plastic that has been manufactured to date has been done so in the last 15 years only.
- In the 1950s, production was around 2.3 million tonnes. This increased to 448 million tonnes in 2015.
- Plastics contain various additives which make them strong and durable. This has unfortunately increased the lifespan of many of these to around 400 years.
- There is an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic that enters our oceans from coastal areas.
- The world uses over 500 billion plastic bags a year – that is 150 for each person on Earth.
- 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches, but only 1% of straws end up as waste in the ocean.
Considering this significant impact of plastic on our planet, we need to understand the importance of its management.
How can we stop plastic pollution? The most that we can do, as individuals, is to ensure that we do not pollute the environment.
Avoid single-use plastics at all costs, it does not take much for one to carry its own cloth/jute carry bag instead of mindlessly using plastic bags. You can also carry a water bottle instead of using plastic bottles. Recycling and reusing should be done in places where it is possible.
These are just some tips that we can implement in our lives. In the end, we have to work towards this problem both as individuals and as a community.
Why plastic is bad for humans? or Why is plastic bad for the environment? Just mentioning a few plastic pollution consequences you get the answers,
- Physical impact on marine life: entanglement, ingestion, starvation.
- Chemical impact: the buildup of persistent pollutants like PCBs and DDT.
- Transport of invasive species from polluted rivers to remote areas in the ocean.
- Economic impact: damage to fisheries, shipping, and tourism.
The problem with plastic is that most of it is not biodegradable. It does not rot, like paper or food, so instead it can hang around in the environment for hundreds of years. Plastic debris simply breaks down into ever-smaller particles, known as microplastics.
These broken-down plastic particles get swept by rain into lakes, rivers, sewers, etc. Eventually, the microplastics will make it into the oceans (or another large body of water).
How are humans consuming microplastics? Here some situations,
- Eating contaminated seafood.
- Drinking contaminated water.
- Breathing household dust and air.
- Consuming products made of microplastics.
We have to understand that plastic is almost inescapable in our daily lives. It is used to make everything from food packaging to toiletries, clothing, furniture, computers and cars.
Consequently, I write a few more ways we can adapt to reduce plastic,
- Carry a reusable bottle.
- Avoid excessive food packaging.
- Carry a shopping bag.
- Say no to plastic straws.
- Say no to plastic cutlery.
As I mentioned before, everyone can do something to reduce the amount of plastic that enters the oceans because we are all together in this issue, and millions of people worldwide are already taking action to reduce their plastic use.
Thank you for your attention and as always, Let’s Prowess, the proper evolution.
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