Plastic is taking over our Planet!

The mass production of plastic is one of the biggest issues we are faced with world wide. According to film maker Deia Schlosberg, half of all plastics were produced in the last 15 years and 91 percent have never been recycled. It takes about 1,000 years for plastics to decompose, but the environment is not the only thing that’s suffering. This issue is bigger than recycling, and it won’t be easy to fix.
It is thought the first plastic ever produced was in 1907. Since then, the industry has continued to grow. Plastic has become a resource that humans heavily rely on and it is a part of everyday life. Plastics can be incredibly useful in medical devices and other essential equipment. Its lightweight strength and durability also make it ideal for packaging.
But plastic packaging isn’t always necessary. As a result, there is an overwhelming amount of plastic. According to the Independent, the world is producing 30 million tons each year. Chlorinated plastics can release toxins into the soil which can contaminate surrounding water sources. This can cause a range of harmful effects. Plastic is polluting land and oceans but also causing harm to wildlife. Animals may eat or ingest plastic bags and other materials which can cause them harm.
According to the AFC, “Plastic in an animal’s gut can prevent food digestion and can lead to a very slow and painful death. Once an animal dies and decays after ingesting plastic, the plastic is then freed back into the marine environment to carry on killing other wildlife.” Plastic has taken a toll on the environment and wildlife, but it can also be detrimental to human
health. Plastics can emit toxins causing respiratory problems, liver dysfunction, cancers, skin diseases and much more.
A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey produced by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that BPA was found in 93% of urine samples taken from people above the age of six. But what do we do when this material that we depend on, takes over? We have such a ginormous build up of plastic waste that we just can’t keep up.
According to Our World in Data, “In 2015, an estimated 55 percent of global plastic waste was discarded, 25 percent was incinerated, and 20 percent recycled.” If it is incinerated, all the chemicals and toxins are just released into the atmosphere. Even through the recycling process, plastics still remain a part of our ecosystem. We need to stop, or at least slow the production of plastics and then figure out how to clean up the enormous mess we’ve made.
So yes, recycle your plastics and use reusable grocery bags but this issue is much bigger than that and in order to see change we need action at a higher level.