A Plague Of Plastics

The wildlife impact of plastic pollution is staggering. Much of the planet is swimming in discarded plastic, which is harming animals and possibly human health. Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues, as the rapidly increasing production of disposable plastic products overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them. Many of these products, such as plastic bags and food wrappers, have a lifespan of mere minutes to hours, yet they may persist in the environment for hundreds of years because of the additives they contain that can extend the life of products to at least 400 years to break down.


Millions of animals are killed by plastics every year, from birds to fish to land-based animals. Mistaking the trash for food, many animals also eat plastic, suffering obstructions, stomach ruptures, and starvation. There are no definitive numbers on how many individual animals eat plastic or die as a result. But ingestion has been documented in at least 150 species, and data suggest its incidence is rising. These toxic chemicals in plastic make their way up the food chain and onto our plates also harming human beings as they are ingested.


Plastic trash has become so ubiquitous it has prompted efforts to write a global treaty negotiated by the United Nations. The solution is to prevent plastic waste from entering the land, rivers, and seas in the first place.

Also read Become a planet-friendly food lover

This could be accomplished with improved waste management systems and recycling, and reduction in the manufacturing of unnecessary single-use plastics.


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