Plastic – a threat to our ecosystem

Plastic is now an integral part of our life and is used in a lot of daily errands. It is almost impossible for us to imagine our life without it now. Plastic is widely used in all the three economic sectors of the world due to its numerous practical characteristics like light weight, acid resistance and flexibility. From food packaging materials to electronic and machinery components, plastic is utilized in many of the things we use everyday. But it is a known fact that plastic is one of the few chemicals that pose a threat to the biodiversity due to its durability and complex structures which make it impossible to degrade easily. Plastic wastes accumulate in the environment and has adverse affects on the wildlife, human life, as well as botanic life. Improper disposal of plastic into the ocean is killing more than 1 million sea creatures annually. Marines, terrestrials, even birds, accidentally consume plastic in little or huge quantities which chokes them to death. The plastic debris affects as much as 700 marine species. But there are a few of these that may get extinct very soon if this pollution does not come to a halt. Studies from 2013 suggest as many as 50 percent of sea turtles are ingesting plastic at an unprecedented rate, and dying because of it. Apart from this, Seals, Sea Lions and Seabirds are also killed at an enormous rate. Fishes, dolphins and whales, too are killed due to accumulation of plastic in their stomach lining. Although people and eco communities are aware about it and taking necessary steps, reports say that still there is only 9% plastic that gets recycled while 12% is burned and the remaining 79% ends up in landfills or elsewhere (oceans, streets, you name it). We know that saying no to plastic completely is not possible whatsoever, but cutting down its use and the ensuring proper disposal of plastic garbage can save our biodiversity and extinction of our precious marines can be avoided.

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