Plastic is terrible for us and our Planet and we know it. We hear about plastic pollution all the time, we see the ocean filled with plastic, animals eating plastic etc. But how many of us can see the plastic in our body and imagine the magnitude of the problem?
Countries around the world are banning plastic use in an attempt to minimize the use of single-use plastics. This is a great step forward, but we seriously need to do something more about plastic pollution if we want to solve this problem. Here is why:
Since the 1950s the production of plastic has been booming. More than 8 billion tons of plastic have been produced since that year and only 9% of it has been recycled. That leaves the question – what happened with the rest?
Plastic Beach litter Worldwide
National Geographic recently announced that the plastic beach litter is 73%. This includes toxic cigarette butts, bottles, food wrappers, bags and all kinds of containers.
Plastic Pollution is a Killer
According to recent studies plastic kills more than 1 million sea animals every year, including birds. Plastic is a killer and has brought more than 700 species of marine life to the verge of extinction. When it reaches the water plastic breaks up into tiny pieces that fish and other animals eat. It poisons them when it reaches their stomach. The floating plastic pieces also trap animals and kill them.
Plastic in Humans
Not only animals eat plastic, we do it too. The average person eats a little below 80,000 microplastics each year. The fish plastic pollution affects us directly because, in the end, the plastic particles end up in our bodies.
Use of Plastic Bags
The average time that we use a plastic bag is 12 minutes but it takes up to a thousand years for the same bag to decompose.
The good news is that countries around the world are starting to ban single-use plastics. In other countries, the same type of plastic is partially banned or taxed. So, measures are being taken. Also, more and more alternatives to plastic are appearing on the market. Many of them are made from natural materials.
Plastic pollution is a serious problem that can be solved only by joining the efforts of individuals, communities and countries. What each and every one of us can do is quit single-use plastic, recycle and always choose the alternatives to using plastic.