The Danger Behind Plastic Waste
Topic: The Danger Behind Plastic Waste
Thesis: For over a century, plastic has offered humanity many conveniences that resulted in the throw-away culture, which now reveals the negative side of the constant use of these plastics.
- Currently, the single-use plastic’s reliance is estimated to account for about 40% of all plastic produced annually.
- Most of these plastics, such as wrap bags and plastic water bottles, have a lifespan of either minutes or hours before they are disposed of and left to pollute the environment for years to come.
- According to the article “How Does Plastic Harm the Environment?”, plastic is believed to take at least 400 years to biodegrade, which only leaves the environment to suffer through degradation as well as those the surroundings of the environment, such as aquatic animals, wild animals, and humans The Danger Behind Plastic Waste.
- Most of the plastic is believed to pollute the oceans.
- According to Parker, it is estimated that 165 million tonnes are thought to be present in the oceans.
- While in the ocean, plastics degrade faster than on land, but this degradation leads to the release of toxic chemicals like polystyrene that pollutes water.
- Plastic is believed to part of the cause of death of aquatic animals.
- Some of the plastic on land finds its way to the rivers, which then drain to the oceans.
- Some aquatic animals, such as fish or turtles, may eat plastic materials thinking they are food.
- According to Parker, about 100,00 sea turtles and other aquatic animals die annually because they find themselves strangled in the plastic bags or mistake them for their food (“How Does Plastic Harm the Environment?”).
- At least 260 vertebrates and invertebrates in the oceans are affected by plastic products through ingestion or entanglement (Alabi et al.).
- The production, usage, and disposal of plastics results in land pollution.
- Disposing plastic products inland or using them as part of landfills can result not only in abiotic but also biotic degradation The Danger Behind Plastic Waste.
- Percolation of plastics results in the contamination of not only water but also soil (Parker).
- Release greenhouse gases
- Burning of plastic products releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
- The use of plastics has detrimental effects on the environment.
- Although recycling can help reduce plastic waste, alternatives to plastics need to be identified and integrated within the economies because plastic waste has affected every aspect of life.
“How Does Plastic Harm the Environment?” Non-Plastic Beach Ltd, 16 Oct. 2019, nonplasticbeach.com/blogs/latest/how-does-plastic-harm-the-environment.
Alabi, O. A., et al. "Public and environmental health effects of plastic wastes disposal: a Review." J Toxicol Risk Assess 5 (2019): 021, https://www.clinmedjournals.org/articles/ijtra/international-journal-of-toxicology-and-risk-assessment-ijtra-5-021.php?jid=ijtra
Carrington, Damian. “US and UK Citizens Are World’s Biggest Sources of Plastic Waste – Study.” The Guardian, Guardian News, and Media, 30 Oct. 2020, www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/30/us-and-uk-citizens-are-worlds-biggest-sources-of-plastic-waste-study.
Ilyas, Muhammad, et al. "Plastic waste as a significant threat to environment–a systematic literature review." Reviews on Environmental Health 33.4 (2018): 383-406.
Parker, Laura. “The World’s Plastic Pollution Crisis Explained.” Plastic Pollution Facts and Information, 7 June 2019, www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/plastic-pollution/. The Danger Behind Plastic Waste.