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How Plastic Pollution Is Killing The Planet

Submitted by solomon on Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:18
plastic bottles
Pic: Pexels Creative Commons / mali maeder

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest issues facing today’s generation. Every day we contribute more and more to the overflowing amount of plastic in our planet. It is important that each and every person on earth understands the damage we are doing and the rest is up to you. Will you take part in the challenge of restoring the beauty of the natural state of the world, or will you continue in your ways, destroying the land and oceans surrounding you that have been around for billions of years?

What is plastic pollution?

With the massive amount of plastic consuming our land and oceans, we face consequences to the environment. With our constantly growing population, the amount of rubbish is rising, and that results in larger amounts of rubbish in natural areas. Plastic comes in forms of bottles, bags, and packaging. These products are not decomposable. This means that the plastic item stays in its original form for thousands of years, and struggles to be decomposed by natural means. With these materials' features, it can be extremely dangerous for species on land and at sea.

Figures and statistics on plastic pollution

Each year, at least 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in the sea. In our oceans, plastic debris floats around, poisoning marine life every day and slowly killing them off. This number is staggeringly high, and we can’t let it go further. In 2016, Dame Ellen MacArthur warned that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the seas than fish. This is awful to think about as this proves how many fish are being affected by this global issue, as their habitat is being destroyed. It was also estimated that only 5% of plastic in the world was recycled in 2016! Most of us in the UK are able to recycle our plastic, so why aren’t we? 

How is it affecting our world and you?

 

As I have mentioned before, plastic is killing a lot of marine life. Plastic contains toxins and microbeads which are poisonous to many species and can often be enough to kill. When fish and other species digest these plastics, the substances build up inside their bodies. Larger fish then digest the smaller fish so, in fact, it eats the toxins inside each of its prey. We then eat the larger fish, and so we consume the largest amount of toxins. This is terrible for our health and we should not be digesting plastic. Marine life can also get tangled up in plastic and can’t be freed, so they remain trapped, unable to move, and sadly left to slowly die. It is totally unfair that animals die for our irresponsibility, we have the power to stop this, and we should.

There are many things you can do to take action and join the movement. The easiest thing you could do is recycle anything you buy that’s packaged in plastic. Water bottles, cans, plastic bags are also all recyclable. Try not to buy plastic water bottles, purchase proper reusable ones instead. If you live near a beach or are on holiday, or even if you see rubbish on the streets, pick up the litter, as every little helps. With everyone contributing we can make the world a much nicer place to live in by restoring it to its natural beauty. Change the earth today. 

By Zoe