We only have one Earth and we aren’t doing a very good job at taking care of it. We are literally polluting the earth due to all the plastic we are using. Plastic is harmful and needs to be banned forever. Even with recycling efforts, the fact that single use plastics are still being used means there’s nothing to be done about these plastic items. Plastic pollution is impacting life on Earth in a bad way. It’s harming our oceans, waters and marine life, in addition to our food chain and even public heath. Plastics are durable and cheap, which is why we use it for everything and anything!
Single use plastics like bags and straws and the like can’t be broken down or recycled, so when they’re thrown out, they have no where to go. A lot of it ends up in our oceans where it harms marine life. Oceans are critical to our everyday lives. Oceans not only feed us, but also transport us, provide oxygen for us, secure our borders and continuously inspired us. But plastic is threatening all this as they pose a serious danger to Earth. Plastic pollution in the ocean kills and injures fish, seabirds and marine mammals. And because of all the persistent organic pollutants in the ocean, they attach to the surface of plastic, creating floating plastic pods. They are never broken down and only get bigger and bigger, creating huge plastic debris islands that simply float in the ocean. It’s truly a sad thing to see!
But the oceans aren’t the only place on the planet suffering from plastic pollution since land is also affected. Chlorinated plastics release harmful chemicals into the soil. This then seeps into groundwater, which can negatively affect nearby ecosystems. These sorts of chemicals pose serious risks to people drinking water that has been polluted.
Landfills contain all sorts of different plastics and many microorganisms speed up the biodegradation of some of them. But while it may seem like a good thing, the breakdown of these plastics release methane, which is a very powerful and harmful greenhouse gas that is a huge factor in global warming. Single-use plastics are also harmful since they end up in landfills all the time. This in turn leads to accumulation, posing space limitations. And landfills located near oceans contribute to ocean debris because the plastics are easily swept up and taken to the sea because of the wind or small waterways like streams or rivers.
There’s also a 2017 study that found that 83% of tap water samples taken from across the globe contain plastic pollutants, posing a global drinking water pollution problem. Even though it’s still unclear if this plastic contamination in our water is affecting our health, there could be negative impacts on human well-being in the near future. Only more research on the matter will tell.
Plastic is also detrimental to animals, poisoning them. Large marine mammals are at risk, such as sea turtles. These animals often find themselves entangled in plastic products or eat them, which makes them starve because the plastic now blocks their digestive tract.
But you can help with this problem by minimizing your plastic use. Stop using plastic straws, use reusable bags, give up gum, reuse containers for leftovers, and the like! If we all do our part to minimize plastic use, we can really make a difference for our future and our planet. Join our movement today and be the change the world needs! It’s easy to do and you’re planet will thank you for it.