“Plastic” a chronic disease of Earth.

According to recent data, about 1.3 billion tons of plastic will flow into the oceans in the next 2 decades.

Single-use plastic output has been increasing from the past few years. Causing a huge surge of plastic being mistreated and discarded to the ocean beds. There are a lot of recent data proving the negative effect of it on the marine base.

Plastic production around the world had a massive increase in the last 5 years from 300 million metric tons to 360 million metric tons.

The alarming one is the microplastic which can easily slip through the disposal and pollute the land as well as water.

Aquatic animals can consume them causing death. Which in turn can push a lot of aquatic animals to the endangered list.

The tumble of food chain works like a domino effect. The food chain will collapse and the last one to perish is the human race. So it’s our responsibility to fix and reduce the effect of plastic.

And our world in data organisation shows that the plastic used from 1950 to 2015, only 9% has been recycled whereas 5800 million tones primary plastic is no longer in use.

There are two primary sectors of use of plastic.

  1. Packaging
  2. Construction

Package production is around 42% whereas construction is around 19%
But packing lifetime is around short 6 months and construction is around 35 years. So major producing of plastic waste is through package plastic.

Mahua Saha, a scientist was addressing a webinar organised by NGO based in Mumbai with collaboration with Nation Center for Coastal Research on Thursday, which was before the International Coastal Clean-Up Day which occurred on Saturday.

She addressed about microplastic and the plastic accumulation in oceans.

“Plastic production has been constantly increasing. In just five years, the global plastic production increased from 300 million metric tonnes to 360 million metric tonnes.”

“Out of this, 50 per cent is single-use plastic and only nine per cent is reusable, where is the rest going? Is it accumulating on the shoreline and coast column?”she said.

She also added “Plastic contaminant study needs to be expanded more towards open oceans. If there is so much amount of plastic pollution on the coasts, then imagine how much is there in the open oceans”.

“It is not only important to make the coasts plastic-free, but it is also advisable to check that plastics do not reach to the ocean beds”.

“Also, to understand marine pollution it is important to study the terrestrial aquatic systems like rivers and other water bodies,” she ended the speech with it.

I asked around my colleague’s group on their thoughts about the speech and this is what they came up with as a small change we can do to save the earth.

  • We can use cellulose-based bioplastic which can be degraded easily.
  • Microplastic are small plastic particles which can accumulate in human/animal bodies and also in oceans. They are also present in some of the cosmetic products like toothpaste and scrubs. They are very hard to eradicate due to their small size.
    One can be more cautious by not buying products that may contain microplastic by carefully checking product ingredients.

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