How Plastic Waste is Destroying the Environment
Globally, we produce over 380 million tons of plastic every year (that is 760,000,000,000 pounds), and this rate of production has only continued to increase year by year.
Everywhere in our lives, we can find plastic being used; just take a look around your room and point out everything that has plastic in it (it’s probably in more places than you even realize).
Though despite its incredibly common usage in our world, plastic isn’t a material that can stay around for the long haul. When taking a look at the life of plastic, the following thought should come to mind: plastic is not good.
Manufacturing plastic is a lengthy process that uses nonrenewable resources and causes immense amounts of pollution.
To produce plastic, natural resources such as crude oil, natural gases, and coal are extracted and placed under a chemical process to create polymer chains known as resin. This resin is placed into a high-pressure heating process that melts it down, and the liquid is injected into a tube known as the preform. After being heated up again, the mold is expanded into the shape of the desired object.
Plastic is used in many products across nearly every industry. Infrastructure, consumer products, transportation, electronic devices, and machinery are all sectors where plastic can be found.
Each year, 380 million tonnes (that is roughly 837.8 billion pounds!) of plastic are produced, and a large portion of this plastic will shortly end up as pollutants.
How Are We Affected?
Due to the crude oil and natural gas that is used in creating plastic, we will run into a day in the future where no more plastic can be produced. Despite the noble efforts of many to recycle our waste, there will come a day when there will be no more plastic. Transitioning to other materials such as bamboo and wood is not a choice but a necessity for the future.
Manufacturing plastic is a major culprit in the rise of climate change. The burning of gas, oil, and coal in the production process of plastic releases harmful globe-warming chemicals into the atmosphere. Slowing down and eventually stopping this pollution will be vital in future decades.
Traditional plastics do not decompose, biodegrade, or compost. Only through photodegradation (UV lights) do the plastics begin the breakdown. This means that when your plastic is no longer suitable for recycling, it becomes waste that goes into a landfill where it will remain for 500+ years. This plastic waste has the potential to harm wildlife and spread toxins.
Plastics were great for businesses during recent decades as they were cheap and quick to produce, but this does not mean that they were beneficial for the world at large. Plastic products continue to be a top contributor in the harming of the environment and climate. Mitigating our usage of plastic and finding alternative products will be critical if we wish to have a healthier world for tomorrow.
This article was brought to you by The Earth Store, an eCommerce business that sells bamboo toothbrushes and donates a portion of profits toward environmental organizations to help create a safer world for tomorrow. Check out our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to receive content on climate change and the environment.