Earth Day 2018 - A call to reduce plastic pollution
The current reality of plastic pollution worldwide
Over the last 50 years, consumption and waste from plastic items have been increasing steadily. According to the plastic-pollution website, about 299 million tons of plastic waste was thrown into the environment in 2013, an increase of about 4% compared to 2012. According to another study by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis about the amount of plastic waste coming from the mainland into the sea, every year, the oceans suffer 8 million tons of plastic. This number is expected to double by 2025.
The amount of waste in the ocean now is enough to make an island. Photo: Mirror.
Cheap price plus convenience, items made from plastic are getting more and more popular worldwide. But less than 10% of the 300 million tons of plastic a year can be recycled. One of the reasons plastic waste is the enemy of the environment is its decomposition time, which is hundreds of years.
Enormous consequences from plastic pollution
Plastic pollution causes a lot of negative impacts on our environment and our lives. First, plastic causes damage to the food chain in the wild. Being diverse in size, plastic can harm even the smallest organisms. The "decomposition" of plastic does not mean that it will completely disappear or will be transformed into another form of matter. They will split into small plastic particles of nanometer size, float in seawater and become food for plankton or small aquatic species.
These micro-granules can not be digested, so they accumulate in the animal's body. And according to the food chain - big fishes eat small fishes, large animals eat small animals, so that amount of plastic will move from one body to another. At the end of the food chain, humans are the one that consumes all of the plastic. That is why they are saying a bottle of plastic you throw out today will eventually return to your dining table.
What you throw out today will eventually return to your dining table. Photo: Our World.
Not only that, plastic waste also pollutes water, soil and air. Every year, the number of dead sea creatures due to plastic poisoning is constantly increasing. In addition, improper handling of waste plastic will adversely affect groundwater and atmospheric levels, increase the greenhouse effect and contribute significantly to climate change. Therefore, to protect the freshness of the Earth, every individual must be aware of their responsibility and jointly reduce the amount of plastic waste outside.
What you can do to reduce plastic pollution?
We are breathing the same air, living together on the same beautiful planet, so each of us must be responsible for the environment we are in. Today, you can start by changing your daily habits such as restricting the use of plastic bags and refusing to accept plastic containers when shopping. Instead, you can carry a bag to store your belongings and prepare a personal bottle so that you do not have to use plastic items.
Besides changing your daily habits, you should replace plastic with environmentally friendly materials. For example, paper straws, bamboo straws or grass straws... will be more biodegradable than plastic straws. Also, say no to the things that are designed to be used once such as plastic water bottles or paper cup.
But if only you change, it is not enough. Let’s encourage people around you to put an end on plastic pollution. At first, they may feel uncomfortable but over time, this good habit will help improve our own living environment.
Earth Day 2018 revolves around plastic pollution. Photo: Aispantherexpress.
By: Emma Chavez