Plastic is something we use in our daily lives, and it offers us a lot of convenience. But as convenient as it is, we cannot deny how badly it affects our environment. And today we will dwell on 10 points on harmful effects of plastic on environment.
From bags, bottles, soda cans to packaging, electronics, and furniture we can find plastic pollutants almost everywhere, and since our population is growing at a very fast rate so does the use of these pollutants day by day causing harmful effects of plastic on environment.
Harmful Effects Of Plastic On Environment
Plastic takes an incredibly long time to break down, sometimes lasting for hundreds of years. So when we toss away that these pollutants like bottle or bag, it doesn’t just disappear. Instead, it ends up hanging around in our oceans, rivers, and landfills, causing problems.
Let’s see those problems through 10 points on harmful effects of plastic on environment –
Disturbance Of the Aquatic Ecosystem
The accumulation of plastic waste in the oceans is a great threat to marine life. Items like fishing nets and packaging materials often wrap around the bodies or necks of turtles and seals, causing injuries and even death.
Plastic Pollution On Land
Effect On Air Quality
Effect On Wildlife
Among the 10 points on harmful effects of plastic on environment the effect on wildlife has been severe across the globe. Just like marine animals, land animals also often mistake these items for food and eat them.
Toxic chemicals released also enter the bodies of animals affecting their health and reproductive capabilities. Plastic pollutants such as plastic bag, nets, containers also get stuck on many animals’ heads causing death and choking due to insufficient oxygen supply.
Disruption Of Food Chain
Effect On Soil And Agriculture
Plastic waste, such as bags and packaging materials, can contaminate agricultural fields, damaging soil health. It can hinder water infiltration, root development, and nutrient uptake by crops, resulting in reduced yields and diminished agricultural productivity.
Threat To Human Health
Tiny plastic particles measuring less than 5mm have penetrated various aspects of human life. From the food we eat to the air we breathe, it has affected humans indirectly. They most probably enter the food chain through seafood, drinking water, and even table salt.
Humans are also exposed to microplastics through different packaged foods, bottled water, bags and cans which results negatively in the long run.
Plastic’s affordability has made it an essential material in packaging, transportation, etc. But at the same time pollution, habitat destruction, and harm to wildlife due to these have led to hefty expenses related to cleanup efforts.
Managing and cleaning up plastic waste consumes solid resources which exhaust the local economies and divert funds from other essential things.
It requires huge amounts of energy resources. From the energy-intensive production processes to the transportation of raw materials and finished products across the globe there is a lot of energy consumption.
Furthermore, recycling plastic waste requires additional energy costs for collection, transportation, cleaning, and processing.
Loss of Natural Beauty
The effect of plastic on natural beauty is really disregarded. Accumulation of them declines the visual beauty and appeal of landscapes, water bodies, and scenic areas.
Litter in urban areas, such as streets, parks, and public spaces, contributes to urban degradation as well. Parks and hiking trails also lose their beauty when scattered with plastic waste.
So, there you have it,10 points on harmful effects of plastic on environment. However, the effects are more harmful and life-threatening than just these ten points, though.
Plastic Waste Management
Plastic waste management is the systematic handling, collection, transportation, recycling, disposal, and overall control of plastic pollutants to minimize their negative impact on the environment.
This management involves different practices and strategies to handle such waste in an environmentally responsible manner. Those practices are –
Collection and Segregation
Household waste is collected alongside other recyclables and sent to recycling facilities where it is segregated according to different types.
Single Use Plastic Ban
Banning or limiting the use of specific single-use plastic to cut back on their production.
Encouraging businesses to use sustainable and minimal packaging designs.
Encouraging the use of reusable shopping bags, containers, and water bottles.
Facilities are set up where collected the plastic wastes are sorted and processed. These are then turned into raw materials for manufacturing new products.
Non-recyclable plastics are burned in an incinerator to generate heat and electricity to reduce waste volume and use energy from the combustion process.
Putting non-recyclable plastic waste in special landfills which are designed to keep the environment safe by preventing pollution and environmental contamination.
Public Awareness and Education
Organizing campaigns, initiatives, and educational efforts to educate people about the effects of plastic on environment and encourage reduced consumption, proper disposal, recycling, and the adoption of sustainable alternatives.
Other than these plastic waste management practices there are other activities and practices as well that people should adopt in their day-to-day lives to bring a change.
So we’ve already seen 10 points on harmful effects of plastic on environment, now let’s take a look at 10 points on eco-friendly practices to reduce such effects. Such as –
- Use less products like plastic bag, polyethene and go for other options like reusable bags, containers, and utensils.
- People tend to use water bottles and coffee cups a lot, instead use reusable water bottles, and coffee cups and practice single use plastic ban.
- While shopping, switch to reusable cloth bags instead of plastic bag.
- Say no to plastic straws when you’re out, and give eco-friendly straws like metal straws or paper straws a try.
- Mostly go for products with eco-friendly packaging or materials.
- Always try to buy items in bulk to minimize plastic packaging and reduce waste.
- Seek out brands that prioritize sustainable packaging and materials.
- Join a community cleanup or organize one to help keep public spaces plastic-free and clean.
- Choose fresh, unpackaged foods, and ditch away heavily packaged goods.
- Properly get rid of non-recyclable plastics in landfills rather than littering.
Say no to plastic as it endangers ecosystems, wildlife, and human health, while also affecting climate change. The 10 points on harmful effects of plastic on environment discussed in this article addresses issues that require strong commitment to reduce the consumption, implementing effective waste management. Our actions today will determine the well-being of the planet stressing the need of reducing the harmful effects of plastic on the environment.
Also Read :
What are 5 effects of plastic pollution?
- Air Quality
- Human Health
- Food Chain
How plastic is harmful for humans?
Plastic can be harmful to humans in several ways, primarily through exposure to certain chemicals and pollutants associated with plastics.