Overexploitation of natural resources has led to the depletion of our environment. This problem has witnessed a rapid increase in the past few decades. The ecosystem has been impacted seriously because of human activities. From ever-increasing pollution of plastic to repeated emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere our mother Earth has been compromised in many ways. The repetition of the same mistakes over the course of history has affected our world severely. From the immense rise in global temperature to depletion of natural resources a lot of stuff has gone wrong. Though the loss can not be undone, through the utilization of sustainable methods and practices we can minimize the impact. 

What Is The Global Plastic Crisis?

Plastic is a man-made polymer that is composed of petroleum. Its properties make it an ideal material that can be used in a wide variety of industries. Some of the uses of plastic include sectors like agriculture, building, construction,  electronics, packaging, and sports equipment.

Gathering Plastic Waste

The use of plastic is widespread from plastic water bottles, disposable plastic cups, and plates to plastic shopping bags everywhere. As per an estimate, about 40 million tonnes of plastics are produced every year globally. 50% of this plastic is used only once while only 10% is recycled. The rest of the plastic is continuously being dumped into the water bodies. A total of 19-23 million tonnes of plastic ends up in oceans. This is approximately equal to the weight of the 800 buildings of Burj Khalifa. But how does this plastic reach water bodies like oceans? This plastic can reach water bodies because of continuous littering, improper waste disposal, sewer overflow, and illegal industrial dumping. When this plastic comes in contact with UV rays, water currents, and wind, it may break down into small units that can be easily consumed by marine life. This condition is dangerous and is raising serious concerns for the sustainability of oceans and wildlife.

Impact And Effects of Plastic on Oceans?

The deposition of millions of tonnes of plastic waste in oceans can cause serious trouble. It not only impacts wildlife present in oceans but can also affect ocean health, human health, and climate change. Ingestion of plastic by marine species can lead to suffocation of aquatic animals which ultimately leads to their death. The lack of attention towards wildlife in oceans can even cause the extinction of hundreds of species which would disturb both the food web and biodiversity and thus would have serious consequences for the human race. Moreover, this microplastic is also found in tap water which is being consumed by human beings and causing severe health issues. In addition to this, ocean contamination is also decreasing the aesthetic value of these places. Ultimately leading to a decline in tourism as well. This situation is not ideal for the world economy. 

How To Make The World Plastic-Free?

Now let’s move to the million-dollar question i.e. how to make the world plastic-free. Through acting upon below mentioned recommendations and repeated efforts we can make our world plastic-free. 

Switching to better alternatives

One of the best approaches is to find better alternatives to plastic. By avoiding this material and switching to biodegradable substitutes we can prevent further damage from happening. Using natural materials like starch, algae, and fiber to create eco-friendly packaging is the way to go. 

Utilizing the latest recycling technology

The plastic that is already present in the environment is constantly damaging the ecosystem. These effects can be minimized by recycling it. Processes like chemical recycling and pyrolysis can allow plastic to break down into its original building block which then can be used to make new products. This way we can keep on using plastic products without causing depletion of the environment. 

Cleaning oceans

The amount of plastic floating in the ocean is dangerous and needs to be cleaned. To address this situation different organizations are starting initiatives to clean oceans from plastic products. Advanced technologies like floating barriers and anonymous drones can detect and capture plastic. The use of such smart equipment can help eradicate plastic from oceans. 

Say no to plastic products

The main task that every common citizen can perform conveniently is to minimize their use of plastic. Plastic bottles are one of the most used items. People store water in these bottles for long-term use. This is damaging our environment. A better practice is to get bottle less water dispensers so that plastic can be avoided. 

Educating at the grass-root level

Still, a large number of people are unaware of the harmful impacts of plastic. This is alarming and needs to be addressed. People need to be trained and educated about the harms of plastic so that the effects of it can be reduced.

Together as a society, we can get rid of this problem for once and for all.