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Plastic Pollution: Effects of Plastic use on the Environment
Plastic pollution is a growing problem all over the world. Governments, foundations, and some social media groups try to warn people about this problem. Plastic products are being used all in industries since it is effective and cheaper than the other materials. However, plastic also causes many problems for the environment. Plastic pollution affects our world in several ways, but the most significant effects of plastics pollution on our environment are, ocean pollution, land pollution, and food pollution.
Oceans are getting polluted by plastics and every year it is getting worse than before. Some governments are enforcing strict rules to avoid using plastic products so people can understand that plastic waste affects our environment. According to Zamira Rahim’s article “Plastic litter in oceans has significantly increased since 1990s” (2019), she informs that plastic pollution in the oceans is increasing every year. Therefore, something must be done to stop this problem before it is too late. A scientist from Nature Communications says that because of the incensement of plastic waste since the 1950s, it has led to oceans being polluted by plastic waste (Ostle et al., 2019). In addition to this, according to Chelsea Ritschel’s article, “Why is plastic bad for the environment and how much is in the ocean?” (2018), she reveals that using plastic might look safe, but it affects our society and most significantly our oceans. It is hard to estimate the number of plastics in our ocean. Moreover, Ritschel (2018) argues that oceans are getting polluted by approximately eight t o nine billion metric kilograms of plastic every year without including the existing plastic pollution in the ocean. Another research from Ocean Conservancy reveals that if we pretend like there is nothing to fear about this, it may cause more problems than there are now (Ritschel, 2018). Furthermore, experts predict that the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean might reach almost a quarter-billion metric kilograms in ten years (Mallos, n.d.). Everybody is responsible for this environmental problem, and everyone needs to be aware of this problem so that they can save our planet.
Another effect of plastic pollution is not very far from our homes, it is in the landfills. Plastic wastes are waiting to be buried. Each year plastic trash in the landfills are polluting our air, atmosphere, waters, lands, and most significantly our health. According to John Newton’s article “The Effects of Landfills on the Environment”, he argues that plastic waste in landfills is generating methane gas, which damages the environment and sky more than carbon dioxide (2018). In addition to that, when the rain comes into landfills, all the deadly materials of the waste are going underground. Thus, it affects water supply to our land and communities. The outcomes of plastic garbage in landfills have not finished yet. It also affects our soil because of toxic substances. Landfills affect our life so badly because of the bugs that spread all the deadly diseases from landfills — this causes detrimental results to our health and all living creatures (Newton, 2018). Governments or the foundations should find a way to fix this issue immediately before it is too late for all of us.
Furthermore, some organizations try to reveal the consequences of plastic pollution in our society that causes harmful effects on our food. Some people are aware of this issue. Therefore, they do not buy any food which is protected with plastic. However, is it enough to prevent our foods from getting poisoned because of the plastics? All over the world, our oceans are getting polluted by plastic wastes, and marine life is facing enormous danger because of plastic wastes. Since the plastics are not able to be disposed of quickly, it is threatening the life of sea creatures. According to Jenna et al. (2015)’s article “Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean”, she informs us that fish and shellfish are most likely to consume microplastics (less than 5 mm) easily because they can’t understand whether its food or plastic (Jenna et al., 2015). According to the Ocean Conservancy, sea creatures in the ocean are experiencing the harmful effects of plastic wastes (Mallos, 2018). Therefore, since we are the people who eat sea-creatures (fish, octopus, and shrimp), we are most likely to face the harmful results of toxicity. In addition to this, another research by Victoria Allen, she reveals that if someone is eating fish food, they are likely to consume 11 thousand pieces of plastic each year (Van & Janssen, 2014). We do not have any problem to find food now, but if we do not find a solution to this plastic pollution for the future, our future generations might not even have a chance to taste any fish.
Day by day plastic pollution in our environment is slowly but very impactfully getting worse. As a result of that, plastic wastes are polluting our oceans, lands, and most significantly, our food. Despite the efforts of some of the foundations and social-media groups, it does not prevent people from using plastic, but at least people get more knowledge about plastic pollution that affects our environment. The most significant way to stop this problem is preventing people from wasting plastic. Therefore, governments should prepare a declaration about plastic pollution, so people might be afraid of using plastic. Equally important, governments can force companies not to use or produce any plastic material. Every one of us is responsible for this problem, the same as governments and companies who do not stop producing this toxic material. Thus, everyone should have the responsibility to clean the environment of this plastic pollution.
- Allen, V. (2017, Dec 1).Seafood lovers eat 11,000 pieces of plastic each year. Daily Mail. Retrieved fromhttps://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5138133/Seafood-lovers-eat-11-000-pieces plastic-year.html
- Jambeck, J. R., Geyer, R., Wilcox, C., Siegler, T. R., Perryman, M., Andrady, A., Narayan, R., & Lavender, K. (2015). Law Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean. Science. 347(6223), 768-771. doi:10.1126/science.1260352
- Mallos, N. (n.d). The Problem with Plastics. Ocean Conservancy. Retrieved from https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/plastics-in-the-ocean/
- Newton, J. (2018, April 18). The Effects of Landfills on the Environment. Sciencing. Retrieved from https://sciencing.com/effects-landfills-environment-8662463.html
- Ostle, C., Thompson, C. R., Broughton, D., Gregory, L., Wootton, M., & Johns, G. D. (2019). The rise in ocean plastics evidenced from a 60-yeartime series. Nature. 1622 (2019), 1-6. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09506-1
- Rahim, Z. (2019, April 16). Plastic litter in oceans has significantly increased since 1990s. Independent. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/ocean-plastic-litter-trash-sea-pollution-a8873276.html
- Ritschel, C. (2018, April 18). Why is plastic bad for the environment and how much is in the ocean? Independent. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/plastic-bad-environment-why-ocean-pollution-how-much-single-use-facts-recycling-a8309311.html
- Van, C. L., & Janssen, C. (2014). Microplastics in bivalves cultured for human consumption. Environmental Pollution. 193, 65-70. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2014.06.010
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