Transportation of invasive and polluting species from polluted rivers to remote areas of the ocean. Plastic kills millions of animals every year, from birds to fish and other marine organisms. Nearly 700 species, including those at risk of extinction, are known to have been affected by plastics. Nearly all species of seabirds eat plastics.
Most animal deaths are due to entanglement or starvation. Seals, whales, turtles and other animals are strangled with abandoned fishing gear or discarded rings in packs of six. Microplastics have been found in more than 100 aquatic species, including fish, shrimp and mussels destined for our dishes. In many cases, these small pieces pass through the digestive system and are expelled without consequences.
However, plastics have also been found to block the digestive tract or puncture organs, causing death. Stomaches so full of plastic reduce the desire to eat, which causes starvation. As the world's population continues to grow, so does the amount of garbage that people produce. Lifestyles on the move require easily disposable products, such as soda cans or water bottles.
However, the accumulation of these products has led to an increase in plastic pollution around the world. Because plastic is composed of significant toxic pollutants, it has the potential to cause significant damage to the environment in the form of air, water and land pollution. The chemical bonds that make up plastics are strong and built to last. The decay rate of plastic usually ranges from 500 to 600 years, depending on the type.
Scientists have found microplastics in 114 marine species, and about a third of them end up on our plates. BPA, found in many plastic objects that come into direct contact with food, is metabolized in the liver to form bisphenol A and remains in our body through urine. However, most of these bottles are only recommended for single use, meaning that every time someone finishes a bottle, it's thrown in the trash. Since these plastic bottles are usually made of polyethylene terephthalate (Pet), they take more than 400 years to decay naturally.
From soda bottles to cars, from packaging to electronics, fishing equipment, clothing and everything in between, it's not surprising that such a commonly used substance has environmental consequences. Although plastic has many advantages in the right situation, it has simply been overused. Here are 5 ways plastic harms the environment and 5 reasons to reduce plastic waste as much as possible. Twice as many ice and water stations refillable with ice divert an average of 250,000 plastic bottles per location (approximately 500 million bottles a year across the network) Keeping plastic waste contained is a difficult task, especially when it comes to the enormous amount of plastic waste that is produced every day.
Around the world, human beings produce 380 million tons of plastic waste per year. That figure is hard to imagine; it's about 95 tons of plastic spread over every square mile of the United States. The weight of plastic is only a fraction of the problem. Most plastic waste is lightweight, but it takes up space, so the volume or space that plastic waste takes up is a bigger problem.
Most people don't want to live near landfills, so finding space for plastic waste often means driving it away and further reducing surrounding wildlife habitats. This is another way in which plastic harms the environment. Download the ICE2U app and get your first suitcase for free. Plus, get a free bag for every 10 bags purchased.
Plastic pollution reduces the recreational and aesthetic value of our waterways, interferes with navigation, and disrupts commercial and recreational fishing. Microplastics also pose a risk to human health. Many chemicals found in plastics are endocrine disruptors, which can cause hormonal imbalance, reproductive problems and even cancer. In addition, microplastics can filter harmful chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates.
These two types of chemicals are known to interfere with hormones. Studies show that bisphenols can reduce fertility in both men and women. Prenatal exposure to phthalates in men can cause low testosterone levels. Keeping plastic waste contained is a difficult task, especially when it comes to the enormous amount of plastic waste that is produced every day.
In a sense, plastics break down; they break down into much smaller plastic particles that are now known as microplastics. You've probably heard of the enormous amounts of plastic that pollute the oceans and other waterways. Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental problems, as the rapid increase in the production of disposable plastic products exceeds the world's capacity to address them. Simply put, plastic pollution occurs when plastic accumulates in an area and begins to negatively affect the natural environment and create problems for plants, wildlife, and even the human population.
Whether because the mass of plastic has displaced animals or because related toxins have poisoned them, plastic pollution causes a lot of damage to the world's ecosystems. While solving the problem of plastic pollution may seem as easy as implementing recycling or cleaning empty bottles, the truth is that the plastic that causes pollution can vary in size, from large to microscopic. Remember that, since plastic doesn't break down easily (if it ever does), recycling plastic means it's still plastic, just that it's used for a different purpose. Plastic pollution is the accumulation of synthetic plastic products in the environment to the point of creating problems for wildlife and their habitats, as well as for human populations.
In addition, many lightweight single-use plastic products and packaging materials, which represent approximately 50 percent of all plastics produced, are not deposited in containers for later transfer to landfills, recycling centers or incinerators. Although the effects of plastic on plant life are still being studied, the first experiments show that plastic negatively affects plant growth. Misleading campaigns by plastic producers led consumers to believe that plastic could be recycled effectively, when it's not realistic. .