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What are the harmful effects of plastic and how to manage it ?

28/01/2020 Already Property Services

With the increase in the world population, the amount of plastic garbage continues to produce. The current lifestyle needs disposable products like soda cans, bottles, plastic wrappers which further accumulate to increase in plastic pollution worldwide.
Plastic consists of toxic pollutants that cause significant harm to nature.  While nobody can deny that plastic is everywhere, there is confusion on why plastic is so bad for every human being.

This article covers the harmful impact of plastic on animals and human beings.

Let’s start with discussing the plastic additives that can be found often.

  •  BPS(Bisphenol S):  This is mostly used in beverage and food containers. The EU is taking measures to limit and regulate the usage of BPA (bisphenol A.) as it causes hazards to human health.
  • Plasticizers: This is frequently used to make PVC flexible and found in the plastic objects of daily use like car seats and kid’s toys.
  •  Flame Retardants: Mostly used in electronic equipment for fire safety. Some of the substances are banned by the United Nations as these are considered hazardous to people and the environment.
  1. How is plastic harmful to humans?
    a. The impact on human health is immense. Research has found microplastics in around 114 marine species. With more consumption of seafood, plastic pollution is impacting human health, even though the effects haven’t seen yet.
    b. BPAs consist of plastic objects that are in direct contact with food. BPA is present in plastic packaging, inner beverage coating, and kitchenware forms Bisphenol A, and come through urine. BPA is considered as an endocrine disruptor and endocrine regulates essential body functions like:
  • Metabolism
  • Heart Rate
  • Digestion
  • Fertility

c. According to the World Health Organization, microplastics are present in 90% of the water bottle. Even though there aren’t any cases of microplastics on the health of humans, but scientists agree that it is coming as a growing concern.

d. Based on research published by “The Global” Almost 100,000 kg of apparel fibers are consumed in a year and 70% are synthetic. The synthetic fibers like acrylic, polyester nylon, and rayon are extracted from petroleum. These microplastics are released in our surroundings by our clothes and humans breathe them regularly. This polyester stands in the first place as the worst fabric for the skin.

2. How does plastic harm the environment?

a. The effect of plastic in Waterways

plastic-in-waterways

The biggest environmental concern right now is plastic pollution. The number of disposable plastic products like a soda can and water bottles gathered around oceans affect the natural environment and harms humans, animals, and plants.

Plastic can impact even tiny organisms like Plankton and larger marine animals rely on these smaller organisms for food. This way the smaller and larger animal consumes toxins. This toxin can also be present in the fish people eat.

Not only animals, but this also causes damage to groundwater sources. Plastic toxins from litter and dumps can seep into groundwater that is used for drinking purposes.

b. The effect of plastic in Land

plastic-on-land

It takes a lot of time for an average plastic bag to break. Evey bag poses a threat to the natural progression of the animals. The breakdown rate of this plastic is so slow that the chances of them evading are slim. These plastic bags are the reason for the suffocation of woodland animals and inhibiting soil nutrients.

With an increase in pollution, land is becoming more valuable. Soon it is predicted that finding a place to dump garbage will become difficult. Eventually, dumps and landfills will take more land that will invade the animal ‘s place and comes closer to groundwater sources.

Inland, plastic waste and litter are present everywhere. Animals coming in contact with this plastic risk the consumption of these toxins or become entangled with the plastic. These animals can suffer from plastic clogs and poisoning with toxins. It is assumed that a single bag has the potential to kill one animal every three months.

c. The effect of plastic in Air
Air pollution is another concerning issue for humans and animals. When people burn plastic in open ground, it releases larger toxins that pollute the air. Inhaling toxins for a long time can cause respiratory diseases.

3. Why is plastic bad for the oceans?
The plastic in the seas pollutes oceanic water and harm marine life in multiple ways. Dispensation of materials like Bisphenol A can pollute water badly. Since this toxic doesn’t get diluted in the water, it can present grave challenges. Here are some harmful effects of plastic on the environment.

a) Plastic disrupts the entire bio cycle that causes unwanted problems. These things threaten underwater life.
b) Consumption of plastic is caused by Marine creature that causes the digestive problem. This spread the risk of a food chain.
c) Sea turtles are also becoming victims of plastic pollution. This ingestive plastic causes blockage in the ulceration and guts that result in death.
d) The plastic present in the oceans also impacts the life of birds. The bright color of the plastic junk attracts birds as they suffer due to the ingestion of plastics.

Just like the microplastics that were banned, other plastic also is toxic to wildlife. No one can tell how long plastic can take to breakdown, but it almost takes hundreds or thousands of years. Well, that is a long time. The accumulation of plastic can damage the environment immensely. In the ocean’s environment, a fragment of plastic is consumed by the filter-feeding organisms.

4. What are the steps to manage the use of plastic?

Some of the primary ways to manage the plastics are:

  • Reduce refer to the decreased consumption of plastic use
  • Try to Reuse plastic bags keeping hygiene and safety in mind
  • Recycle old plastic and jar and support the cause of using recycled items.
  • Use proper disposal techniques- keep biodegradable and non-bigger able items separate and dispose of them accordingly.
  • Throw kitchen garbage in paper bags rather than plastic bags
  • Do not burn plastic or other kinds so garbage.

The above article can show you how hazardous plastic can be to humans and land and ocean animals. Well, there is no hard and fast rule to limit plastic bags. But keeping the above-discussed measure for keeping plastic usage in control can surely help.

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