We are at a critical point with respect to the environmental impact. Our actions have put the planet at risk, and the use of plastic is one of them. The situation is so alarming that a few weeks ago scientists discovered microplastics in human blood for the first time.
It is certainly a sign of the impact that plastic waste has on our environment.
And it is that we have gone from generating 3 million tons of plastic per year in the 1950s to…
…more than 300 million tons currently.
Fortunately, we are in the presence of a new generation that seems more aware. They turn to personalized eco-friendly cloth bags for shopping, avoid buying single-use packaging and are avid recyclers.
But this is not enough, below we talk about the impact of plastic on the environment and what measures to take against it.
Impact of plastic on the environment
There is a lot of consequences of the use of plastic on the environment which, as we said, does not even affect our blood.
But the impact is widespread:
Pollution by land, air and sea
Plastic waste pollution is spreading all over the world and soils are the most affected.
A third of all plastic ends up in landfills and in different parts of the earth. Most of this debris breaks down into tiny particles that can measure less than 0.1 micrometers.
Due to this size, the plastic slowly enters the food chain until it reaches the bloodstream. This indicates that soil contamination is the most common and the most dangerous.
But the sea is not far behind.
In the ocean, up to five large islands of plastic (garbage) have been detected that harm living things, pollute the water and end up reaching the coasts.
Although this is only the surface. because researchers have found plastic and microplastics in the deepest seabed like in the Arctic itself.
And the air?
You may not realize it, but the burning of plastic and its own creation generates toxins that spread through the air. This can lead to serious health problems.
Impact on living things
Since plastic is present in all ecosystems, it is impossible not to see the damage it causes to living beings. including us.
Because living in a clean-looking city doesn’t mean the impact of pollution doesn’t affect you. And it is that we indirectly consume microplastic.
Besides, the following data shows the great impact on wildlife:
- Plastic remains in the sea are responsible for the death of 100,000 mammals and sea turtles. As well as more than a million birds that live near the sea.
- 370 species of animals around the world eat plastic, including us and even the smallest plankton.
But plastic does not only affect living beings when consumed. In the sea, many animals are trapped there and end up dying.
How to reduce the use of plastic?
We know that one person won’t make a difference. To change course, large-scale action must be taken. But, you can start making a difference from home.
- When you go to the supermarket take personalized ecological fabric bags
- Do not buy single-use containers
- Recycle, separate plastic from cardboard and glass
- Do not throw bags or litter in the street
These types of actions can help you reduce your negative impact on the environment.
Now, to reach a larger scale, the European Commission has proposed some recommendations:
- plastic ban. All single use.
- bottle collection. EU states are required to collect 9 out of 10 plastic bottles in their cities.
- awareness campaign. It is about informing society of the negative effect that plastic has on all ecosystems.
This aims to reduce the consumption of plastic materials and their subsequent disposal which ends up polluting the environment.