The Earth, Plastic and Us
Right now, our one and only world is seriously threatened by the ever-increasing plastic waste. There is plenty of trash lying around on the streets and in the parks, which undoubtedly is terrible. However, that is not the focus of this piece. Here, I want to bring to your attention some of the more near-permanent effects of plastic waste or waste material on our planet.
To begin with, I want to shed light on what exactly happens to the plastic waste that is collected in the trash cans. So, as you would imagine, some of it is recycled (we will still have to deal with this plastic sometime in the future), but some of it is buried into landfill sites. And that is not a very good solution because plastics can take up to 1000 years to decompose.
More Plastic than life
If we look at the oceans, the situation there is equally worse. Approximately, 10 million tons are dumped into the sea every year, and around 150 million tons of plastic is already floating around. To put these numbers into perspective, It is predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastics in the ocean than there will be fish.
So, now that we have an understanding of the direness of the situation, let us look at what we can do to make the situation even just a little bit better. Since plastics take too long to decompose, our energies should be focused on decreasing the amount of plastic produced in the first place.
Currently, 300 million tons of plastic is produced every year. That number can be brought down if the demand for plastic among the people drops. So, here onwards, we are gonna explore a few different changes we can introduce in our lifestyles to minimize plastic usage.
Steps to Minimize Plastic Material Usage:
Firstly, it is important that we avoid single-use plastics. These include plastic plates and spoons – disposable plastics intended to be used just once and then, thrown away. These amount to half of the plastics produced every year. It is understandable that people would prefer single-use plastics – they are convenient to use.
You can throw them away after you are done using them. There is no need to carry them around. The fact still remains that these waste materials are incredibly harmful to the environment, so we should go the extra mile and use alternatives to single-use plastics; for example, we could use steel bottles instead of plastic material bottles.
Another step we could take is to make a habit of keeping a cloth bag with us at all times. Plastic bags, although only used twice or thrice, or sometimes even only once, take around 10 years to decompose. So, let us do our only Earth a favor, and let us keep a cloth bag handy so that we do not have to resort to using plastic bags.
Lastly (and this is of immense importance), spread the knowledge. Explain to those around you about the awful condition of the earth and the need to reduce the amount of plastic material produced. The more people know, the better. And remember, our Earth is our responsibility.
I am the student of the Millennium College, I-9/3. If you read my article do give your feedback in the comment box.