Updated: Apr 9, 2020
Plastic – lightweight and versatile – and it floats!!
Plastic, such a versatile and malleable material that it can be shaped into anything and still be beautiful and practical. And, we have made it into everything; from bags, cups, jars, and even sandwich or wraps.
It was this lightness and practicality that had man implement it into everything, and it has become almost indispensable to us. Decades back, we did not stop to consider if it was biodegradable or not; all we saw was the practicality and the lightness.
But just as it is light to carry and easy to use, it is also light to be lifted by any slight wind or air. And from here, it floated and before we realized it was everywhere. Even with correct disposal, it still was able to have a life of its own and there it was going in all directions.
It floated on what had been clean water sources.
From mothers’ hands and bags, it took flight and there it is in the sea – later to be swallowed by a fish.
Fish die from the plastic they swallow.
Landfills are made to get rid of the trash, but it is not biodegradable – items may take from 10 and up to 1000 years to decompose.
In the sea, it breaks down, but the smaller fish swallow it and die.
At this point, there arises the question, “isn’t plastic recycled?” Yes, but only a minor percentage.
We manufacture 300 million tons of plastic globally each year, and of that only, about 10 percent is recycled.
Keeping the trash problem aside, it is after all not safe to use it for our food – either as storage or even for usage. It leaches chemicals into our food especially plastics that don’t shatter. These contain Bisphenol A – BPA – and is simply a chemical that mimics estrogen and as such it causes lower sperm count, breast cancer. This effect increases with the increase in temperature of the food.
The problem – it is everywhere for us to use, and it is so easy to use
The effects – trash everywhere –and the trash is not controlled due to its lightweight and because it floats everywhere.
Health wise – it is killing us either when it is clean and we use it to put or cook our food or as trash and pollution everywhere we turn to look.
If you have to use it, keep it to a minimum.
Teach your children the hazards and provide the alternatives.
Dispose of in recycle points.
Do not use with hot food or in microwaves.
Canada plans to ban single use plastics
China was one of the largest scrap and waste processor – as of 2018, it banned the import of plastic headed for recycling.
More in Success Stories.