Today world is facing a huge crisis of plastic pollution. Till now humans have discarded around 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic. What happens to the plastic that we throw away? Most of the plastic ends up in the landfills where it can take up to more than 500 years to get decomposed. Even when it is decomposed it has the potential to leak pollutants in air land and water. It has been estimated by some study that today there is already 165 million tons of plastic debris floating in the sea. This plastic threatens the health and safety of aquatic animals.
It is a myth that the plastic waste that we throw away is recycled. When you look it at that way only some of it is recycled while the other of it goes away to pollute our environment.
Ted-Ed had recently very short animation film that had explored the three possible scenarios what happened after discarding plastic bottles.
According to the movie, there were three scenarios.
- The first scenario consists of a very common one. All the plastic garbage that we throw ends up in the landfill. This plastic garbage interacts with rainwater and creates a very harmful stew which is called Leachate. This debris then ends up in the ground and water streams which harms the ecosystem. If you consider only a plastic bottle then it is estimated to take around 1000 years to decompose.
- The second scenario in the video consisted of water flowing through the stream and falling in the river. These rivers ended up in the oceans carrying all the plastic garbage towards the ocean. after the trash has spent a subsequent amount of time in the sea it is drawn to the trash vortex known as the great Pacific garbage patch. This garbage is mistaken to be food and is taken in by marine animals. Because of this, the plastic enters into the food web that enters in the body of humans through seafood.
- The third scenario in the video was different from the previous two scenarios. The bottles thrown away are recycled in the scenario so that they could be used again. These bottles can be renovated into any other plastic thing that we could imagine. It could be a chair, knife, bag, umbrella, etc.
How can we prevent the plastic pollution?
- We can take small initiatives to remove the use of plastic from our day to day life.
- Replace single-use plastic bags with reusable grocery shopping bags. We can purchase cooler bags from websites like CustomEarthPromos.com that promote the uses of reusable items.
- You can eradicate the use of plastic bottles and can use the steel bottles instead which can be refilled and reused.
- Instead of using plastic cutlery you can opt to use for biodegradable cutlery.
- Use bamboo toothbrush instead of using the plastic one.
Throwing away plastic can cause harm to our planet in the ways we are not aware of. Make sure that you have reused the plastic that you have and make sure to use plastic substitutes such as reusable bags.