Ocean crashing to the shore,
Tins, cans and covers through its door
Damp sand closing its pores,
Frightened by the sea’s roar
The cries of creatures went unheard,
Till their bloated dead bodies floated without a scar
The sky was grateful for being high
Till it got a slit in its ply;
Disfiguring nature’s contour,
Humans have infested a planet with no future
Our planet is infested with plastic; scientists reveal that around 9.2 billion tons of plastic material was produced in 1950, of which 6.9 billion tons have become waste. Out of that 6.9 billion, a major portion (6.3 billion tons) has never entered the recycling phase.
Reports also suggest that the amount of plastics in the sea is 500 times more than the number of stars in our galaxy. And, it is estimated that by 2025, there will be more plastic than there are fishes in the sea. Marine species are consuming microplastic; millions of species (including the endangered ones) are affected by microplastic every year.
Single-use or disposable plastic causes severe environmental consequences, and, based on this, scientists predict that we heading towards the Anthropocene (significant human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems).
Did You Know?
- Each year, around 150 million tons of plastic is produced, which is used only once
- It takes 500 to 1,000 years for plastics to degrade
- More than 1 million seabirds are estimated to have been killed by plastic particles
Plastic Is Ubiquitous & Widely Used
You can find plastic in the least expected places, too. From plastic-lined milk cartons to plastic water bottles, and products such as toothpaste and face wash. Whenever you run water over a milk packet or brush your teeth, plastic microscopic particles escape into the water, which further enter into the environment and harm it.
One of the reasons, plastic is highly used is because of its price. However, we over use plastic, with or without our consciousness we are using more than necessary amount of plastic.
Not All Plastic Is Recyclable
It is almost impossible to break down plastic. One option of disposing it is by burning it, which is, again, incredibly toxic. That is when recycling, the process of molding plastic into functional and useful forms, comes into picture.
The plastics we use are polystyrene (foam hot drink cups, plastic cutlery), polypropylene (take-out food containers), low-density polyethylene (garbage bins and bags), plasticised polyvinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride (squeeze bottles), high-density polyethylene (shampoo containers and milk bottles), and polyethylene terephthalate (soft drink bottles). Of these plastic materials, only a few types (PET, HDPE, and PVC) are recyclable.
Reuse Or Abandon Plastic
The planet is each and every individual’s responsibility. Instead of complaining about the government (which ironically includes us), we should improve our own way of life by reusing plastic, replacing it with eco-friendly products, and opting for a completely plastic-free lifestyle. Give up on single-use plastic; there are many eco-friendly substitutes that serve the same purpose without harming the environment and your health.
There are terrifying statistics that reveal we are living in a plastic sphere. The key takeaway is knowing that plastic is harmful, and immediate measures should be taken from our end to mitigate the perils of plastic pollution.
I am learning how to ditch plastic and live eco-friendly. In my next blog, I will pen down the substitutes for plastic we can use. I am not an expert in this area, but thanks to the Internet, there are numerous credible sources where we can get all the information. All you need to do is search for it.
I recommend following 1 Million Women https://www.1millionwomen.com.au/, where they post blogs and videos that can help one to replace, reuse, and built eco-friendly habits.
Oceans are drowning in plastic, sea animals are gasping for breath, land is submerging in plastic, shift to sustainable living, and see the future it brings.