What is Plastic Pollution?

What is Plastic Pollution?

Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic objects and particles like plastic bottles, bags, and microbeads in the Earth’s environment that adversely affects wildlife and humans. But how does it affect the lives of humans and animals?

Imagine a sea turtle swims through the water in search of food and finds a white blob floating near the surface. “Yummy!” it thinks, “a jelly fish” and eats the item. But little did the innocent turtle know that the floating blob isn’t a jellyfish but a plastic bag that could make it and many other aquatic animals very sick.

Just like that, millions of animals are killed by plastic every year, from birds to fish to other aquatic organisms. Not only that, plastic has been found in the stomach of many land based-animals, including Elephants, Zebras, Tigers, Camels, Cattle and other large mammals, in some cases causing death. And all these factors somehow impacts human lives. Scientists have found microplastics in 114 marine species, and almost one-third of these end up on our plates. Also, they’ve been found in a majority of the world’s tap water.

But who is responsible for all this plastic mess around us? Unfortunately, it’s none other than humans themselves. Not all plastics is terrible as they are handy. Plastics revolutionized medicine with life-saving devices, made space travel possible lightened cars and jets saving fuels and pollution and saved lives with helmets, car airbags, and equipment for clean drinking water.

And for many of us, plastic has become integral to our daily lives. But the problem is that most of us use and throw away more plastic than we need. Things like grocery bags, drinking bottles, straws and food wrappers, and plastic packaging around toys. This kind of plastic that’s used only once before being thrown away is called single-use plastic, and it makes up more than 40% of all the plastic trash. And this short-lived use of millions of tons of plastic is quite simply unsustainable and dangerous for our planet as a whole.

What can we do to help our planet and innocent animals? The solution from this begins with you and only you! First, start to recycle the plastic that you can, and never leave it in places such as beaches and gardens. As trash left on the ground often blows into creeks and rivers, eventually making its way to the ocean.

Also, don’t fill your birthday goodie bags with plastic toys. Instead, give your friends homemade treats or coupons to a local bakery. And thirdly, always try to pack snacks in reusable containers or cloth sacks instead of plastic bags. These small steps from your end will make a big difference and help to clean our Earth!

Did you know, since 1950s, around 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced worldwide? Also, about 2 million plastic bags are used every minute around the world.

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