What is Plastic Pollution?

It’s cheap… it’s disposable… it’s toxic

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Number of plastic bags produced

Worldwide, this year

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TheWorldCounts, 01 July, 2014

It’s cheap… it’s disposable… it’s toxic

Since plastic is such a versatile and cheap material, most of today’s everyday products are made out of it or has some components made of plastic. The problem is, it’s disposable and that’s what we do on a daily basis – we throw them away. Not recycle, not reuse, but throw.

We’ve discussed in previous articles that plastic is forever. It doesn’t degrade and go back to nature. After 700 years it starts photo-degrading, turning into little bits of itself, ready to pollute the environment again. The problem is, more and more people are navigating to the coasts and our oceans are suffering the most from the biggest plastic pollution we’ve ever seen since humans walked the earth.

More:  Plastic Waste Facts

Big piles of plastic reaching every corner of the Earth…

What is Plastic Pollution? It’s the accumulation of plastic waste in the environment which negatively affects all living things and their habitat.

Plastic pollution comes in many forms: Plastic Litter, Marine Debris and Plastic Particle Pollution, to name the most common. Although there is plastic pollution on land, more of these waste products end up in the sea. It has reached every corner of our planet – from the highest mountains to the deepest sea. That’s not an exaggeration. The water brings the plastic waste even in places where there are no humans.

More:  Interesting Facts About Plastic Bags

A blessing and a curse

At every stage of its life cycle, from manufacture to use and disposal, plastic is a toxic pollutant.  It is a useful product that can bring danger and even death to humans and the environment.

It’s a serious threat that we should all take seriously. Recycle your plastics. Don’t litter. Help clean your beaches. Use reusable containers instead of disposables.  These simple acts can have a big impact on the global effort to reduce plastic pollution.

We may be the cause of the problem… but we can also be the solution.

More: Pollution from Plastic

Read more environmental stories on The World Counts: Stories. See how you can help make our planet a better place for us to live in.

References

  1. Wikipedia: Plastic Pollution
  2. Natural Resources Defense Council: Solutions to Plastic Pollution In Our Oceans

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Tons of waste from households

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Square kilometers of plastic soup

In world's oceans

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