There won’t be a day that you can pass by without looking at something made of plastic. Whether there is some sort of packaging or any other thing, we have so much plastic in our lives. The chairs and tables switchboards, mobile phone accessories, any sort of packaging and if not wirings. Even if you try your best not to use plastic chairs and tables, there will still be packaging and wirings.
All this plastic seems unavoidable. Furthermore, no one can think that it can harm us. For example, if you are buying a pack of biscuits and it has a plastic wrapper, would you think of it as something dangerous? No, right?
However, after you are done eating your biscuit, you will throw the wrapper on the nearby road. You are in a hurry to go to your school or office, so you don’t bother finding a dustbin. Ultimately this wrapper will float around the road. If there is an open water channel nearby, it will go there. Once it reaches a water body, things get more complicated.
Suppose a fish gets entrapped in that packet and is not able to come out of it. It will ultimately die of hunger. Likewise, a fish might eat it while thinking of it as its food. However, plastics do not degrade naturally. Thus, it won’t decompose and will stay in its stomach for a long time. If the fish is small in size, this plastic won’t allow it to eat any food and starve to death.
Therefore, there is a strong need to educate people about the negative impacts of plastics. And not only this, but we also need to tell them ways to cope up with the plastic problems. Thankfully, we have platforms like oceanblueproject.org, which involve community clean-up programs. You can learn more about them from www.oceanblueproject.org/blue-schools. Their school empowers the students to work on cleaning projects of oceans, rivers, and beaches.
How plastic gets into our food
Plastic is a non-biodegradable material. Therefore, every bit of plastic that was once created is still present in the environment. Two-third of this plastic has reached the ocean or in the garbage piles. If not, the microplastics are buried deep in the soil and are polluting our agricultural lands.
Likewise, microplastics contaminate our foods and get into our stomachs. In case you wash vegetables and fruits properly, there are still other ways. For example, you eat fish that has plastic in it. This fish will become toxic and will affect the whole food chain.
Although plastic itself is a material that we can remove. However, if it degrades into smaller components, it won’t be easier to clean it off. Thus, the heavy metals and other additives of plastic will get into our food.
In addition to this, eating plastic does not result in direct health impacts. Therefore, there are not many scientific research results on the impact of plastic on our bodies. However, the regular intake of smaller doses will result in serious damage. The least is its presence in our stomach that won’t digest and will not allow us to eat properly.
In drinking water
The ultimate sink of all the waste is the oceans. Therefore, if we do not deal with the waste by ourselves, it will eventually go into the ocean. This will cause serious water contamination. Although water has its own way of dealing with the waste but a huge amount of waste will eventually decrease the oxygen concentration. This low oxygen will result in killing the natural decomposers. As a result of this, the water body will become polluted and unable to treat itself.
But you might think that this is not your concern because you do not drink water directly from the oceans. However, the plastic bottles that we use commonly are made from BPA material. This is a highly harmful product for our bodies. Drinking water from such a bottle means that you are throwing its smaller components into your body.
What if you choose BPA-free material bottles?
You can use them and they are relatively safe. However, over time, the strength of the bottle will weaken and it will start to deteriorate. This will result in the contamination of microplastics into the water. You won’t realize and will drink that water thinking it is clean.
And if you throw the bottles after every use? It won’t be a problem, right?
Well, you can choose to do so but think carefully about what you are trying to do. The more bottles you use, the more waste will be produced. Where will it all go? Have you thought about it? All the waste that we throw either goes down the streams and lakes to the oceans or on our land.
Even if you are throwing your waste in the bins, it is not decomposing there. All of this waste will go to the landfills sites. The more waste you produce, the more land area they will occupy. Where do you plan to live then? And where do you think you can grow crops if all the land is occupied with waste one day.
In our clothes
If you are wearing 100 percent pure cotton then it’s all right. However, we have a lot of polyester and spandex in the market. A lot of clothes use these materials. Every time you wear them and wash them, they will release a small number of plastics. This will ultimately pollute the things around you. You breathe and it will go into your body. If not, it will surely go into the environment. Thus, will pollute the air.
Furthermore, the production method of polyester and plastic materials will release a huge amount of chemicals. So even if you are careful with the waste handling and everything you are still contributing to environmental pollution by using plastics. The waste from production factories is rich in contaminants and heavy metals. Thus, is a pollutant for anything they go.