Reduce Plastic Waste
In the hindsight, humanity got all the wishes granted when the process of transforming brown putrid slime into revolution i.e., plastic was discovered. Being inexpensive, germ-free, and expedient, plastic changed lives. But this sensation of chemistry got a little out of control as it has drenched the environment; it has penetrated the animals’ on which humans are dependent for food, and now making its way into the human bodies owing to the high infiltration of plastic waste in the environment. We must reduce plastic waste urgently.
Chemical Composition of Plastic
Polymers are the building blocks of plastic, which essentially are the long chain of recapping molecule groups. Polymers naturally exist everywhere including hair, DNA and cell etc. These can also be made synthetically by contravention of crude oil into its respective elements and reorgainizing them; the resultant plastic is very hard-wearing, frivolous and can be moulded into variety of shapes as per the requirements.
Scale & Scope of Plastic Waste Pollution
Once used to be a ground-breaking material, plastic now has become a waste. Unfortunately, owing to their durability, synthetic plastic takes between 500 and 1,000 years to break down. Since humans, on a collective scale, used this extremely tough material for one-time use products, 40% of the global plastic production is used for packaging. Since its invention, humans have produced ~ 9 billion metric tons of plastics. More than 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic have become waste since 1907. 9% of this waste was recycled, 12% burnt but 79% of it is still sticking around. Around 8 million tons of plastic waste end up in oceans per year. Because of it is abundance, marine animals keep getting trapped in plastic and swallowing it. In 2015 already, 90% of seabirds had eaten plastic.
Trade-Offs Concerning Plastic Waste
For some, plastic should be completely banned but interdiction of plastic isn’t that simple. Plastic pollution isn’t the only environmental being faced nowadays, rather some of the alternatives to be used instead of plastic have complex ecological influences. For instance, if one opts of for a reusable cotton bag instead of a single use plastic bags means that he has to use it for more than 7 thousand times inorder for the costs of both the options to become equal.
How can Plastic Waste be Catered to?
The pivot for all the strategies that can be used to cater to plastic waste is to reduce the use of plastic. This reduction in usage can be achieved by employing the phenomenon of reuse and recycle. Thus, individual behaviors have to change on a mass scale to mitigate the existential threats being posed by the plastic lying around. Essentially, disposable plastics and those that can’t be recycled must be avoided. Regulatory bodies can also play a key role in minimizing the use and production of plastic at the source, so as to employ both push and pull strategies in addressing the mammoth challenge of plastic waste reduction. More so, most of the plastic waste comes from developing countries, so if the subject problem is to be solved, investing in solid waste management infrastructure in emerging countries is as important as fighting the plastic pollution elsewhere with campaigns and redesigning the products to minimize unnecessary plastic production.
Plastic pollution and waste is a byzantine problem. The crux is that as long as plastic pollution isn’t addressed from a universal viewpoint; it will remain unsolved. Individual actions still have a enormous impact, what anyone does matter. Together, the menace of plastic pollution can be beaten.
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