Dangerous Plastic: The Danger to Behold
By Yashvardhan Singh XI-C
Khaitan Public School
Humans have lived on the planet earth for many years now. It had all started from the Neanderthals and has led to the current form of humans in this modern era. We have developed this entire world of ours to suit our requirements and basic needs, starting way back from the industrial revolution. Now there are various developed economies in the year 2018; ranging from the USA, Russia, China, Germany, France, United Kingdom and developing ones like India and other second and third world countries. All this development in these years has led to the production of a lot of dangerous plastic and wastes.
Some wastes are harmless to humans, although the harmful ones have had a great impact on the environment. Wastes can be broadly classified into two types: bio-degradable wastes and non-bio-degradable wastes. Biodegradable wastes include cow dung, food materials, and other organic matter. While non-biodegradable ones include metals, cans, polythene bags, and other plastics.
Plastic in these many years has become a major pollutant and a major problem in today’s world as it is non-biodegradable and it takes millions of years to decompose.
Here are some facts regarding dangerous plastic:
• A plastic bottle takes 450 years to break down in the ground!
• The household waste generated by humans consists of 11% of
Plastic, out of which 40% are plastic bottles.
• A plastic cup takes 50-80 years to decompose!
• An estimated 13 billion plastic bottles are disposed of each year.
• Plastic bags and other plastic garbage is thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures every year!
• An estimated 14 billion pounds of trash, much of it plastic is dumped in the world’s oceans every year!
• 1 tonne = 25000 plastic bottles. Recycling 1 tonne of plastic bottles saves 1.5 tonnes of carbon!
• 13 billion plastic bags are issued each year!
• The worldwide fishing industry dumps an estimated 150000 tons of plastic into the ocean each year!
It is not about the facts surprise or not, it is the amount which is astonishing. Plastic indeed is the threat to humankind as it is still not being taken seriously in many parts of the world and no preventive measures are being undertaken. Although some countries like India are trying to ban plastic bag usage, still one of the biggest economies, China is the first in terms of plastic pollution followed by Indonesia. According to a recent report, a dead whale had been found ashore in eastern Indonesia. It was found that the whale contained 115 plastic cups and 2 flip-flops inside its body! Since plastic is toxic to organisms, preventive measures must be undertaken to prevent the decline of ocean ecosystems and to make this environment free of this danger as soon as possible, otherwise, it will lead to a world dominated by plastic.
Just imagine a world, where you see plastic everywhere around you. The plants are made of plastic, your belongings are made of plastic, food and other necessities provided in the form of plastic and your friends and dear ones as plastic. Wouldn’t that be disgusting and horrible? Then let us pledge to make this world better by freeing it from this dictator as nearly every piece of plastic made still exists today and it wouldn’t be courteous to leave a disgusting, horrible and excessively polluted world for the future generations, as “we have not inherited this earth from our forefathers, we have borrowed it from our children”.