Plastic is widely used everywhere this time. From household to supermarket, you can find it everywhere. People use plastic because it is convenient to use and cheap. People also used it just for their comfort.
Plastic as substance is a non-biodegredable material. Plastics remain in environment for hundred of years and polluting it immensely because it cannot dissolve in water or mud. But no one realises how it is harmful for us and our planet ‘ Earth ‘. Mainly plastics are used as plastic bags.
Plastic is found in different types as microplastic, single-use plastic, etc.
Microplastics are small plastic pieces of less than 5 milemeters in size. Microplastic includes microbeads that are used in cosmetics, personal care products and industrial scrubbers which are used for aggressive blast cleaning. Microfibers used in textiles and Virgin resin pellets used in plastic manufacturing processes.
Single-use plastic is a disposable material that can be used only once before it is either thrown away or recycled, like plastic bags, water bottles, soda bottles, straws, plastic plates, cups, most food packaging and coffee stirrers are sources of single-use plastic
Plastic waste as a global issue-
Over 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since 1950 and about 60% of that has ended up in landfills or in the environment. Only 9% of that has been recycled and about 12% has been incinerated, and while remaining 79% accumulated in dumps and natural environment. Plastic waste, whether in a river, an ocean or on land can persist in the environment for centuries, hence by 2050. The amount of plastic, in seas and oceans across the world, will wiegh more than the fish.
Plastic waste in India-
According to ‘ Central Pollution Control Board ‘ , India generates 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste everyday. This is close to the weight of ‘ 9,000 Asian elephants ‘ or ‘ 86 Boeing 747 jet ‘. Over 10,000 tonnes a day of plastic waste remains uncollected. According to a ‘ Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry ‘ study, the plastic processing industry is estimated to grow to 22 million tonnes a year by 2020 from 13.4 million tonnes in 2015 and nearly half of this is single-use plastic.
Effects on living-being –
Animals, unknowingly, consume plastic particles along with their food. So, they have been a major reason of untimely death for animals as aquatic and terrestrial animals.
The production of plastic bags release toxic chemicals. These are the main cause of serious illness. The polluted environment is a major reason for various disease which are spreading easily in human beings.
Moreover, plastic products ruins the fertility of the soil. When people dump plastic waste on land. It accumulates there for a long time. Plants cannot grow well in such soil. Apart from this, various disease causing germs and insects collect in such area. This is harmful for our health.
Effects on nature –
Plastic waste gives a negative effect on tourism revenue. For example, Andaman and Nicobar islands are under the plastic threats and facing aesthetic impact because of the ‘ International Dumping of Plastic Waste ‘ at the island.
As air pollution- plastic burning releases poisonous chemicals into the atmosphere impacting general well-being and causing respiratory disorders in living-beings.
As water pollution- whenever plastics are dumped in landfills. The hazardous chemicals present in them seep underground when it rains. The leaching chemicals and toxic elements infiltrate into the aquifers and water table, indirectly affecting ground water quality.
As soil pollution- A lot of plastic is dumped in the landfills. These plastics left some toxic chemicals in soil. Because of this, plants cannot grow well in such soil. It declines the quality of earth’s surface soil and term of using the land.
Plastic is everywhere nowadays. But no one realises how it is harmful thing for us. Plastic is causing big harms and affected everything as well as man, wild/aquatic/terrestrial animals, plants, land, air, soil, water, etc.
We all must take necessary steps to prevent plastic pollution. Kids should be taught from their childhood to avoid using plastic. Similarly, adults must check eachother on the same. In addition, we can use cloth bags or paper bags instead of plastic bags. We must also avoid drinking bottled water, as the plastic bottles also cause a lot of plastic pollution. We must recycle the plastic on large scale. Although the Indian government has imposed a ban on the usage of plastic bags in many states. But people are still using and carrying these bags. Shopkeepers stop providing plastic bags for few days in beginnings. It is time when we all must contribute our bit to make this ban a ‘Success’.
Thus we must take it as our responsibility to stop using plastic. In this way, we can support the government in this compaign.
In order to be successful in this mission, there are many eco-friendly alternatives to plastic bags like reusable jute or cloth bags. We must keep reminding ourselves about the harmful effects of the plastic on our nature and keep a tab on their use. Our combined efforts can prevent plastic pollution and save our planet ‘Earth’.