The problem with plastic

We use plastic every day and as a material is quite useful. Making things from plastic is popular because it ‘s cheap and versatile. That means that we can pretty much do whatever we want with it and if you look around you plastic is everywhere.

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As long as plastic is in use it’s ok. The problem starts when we throw it away. Because it isn’t biodegradable (it doesn’t rot like food or paper) it can stay in the environment for hundred years and do some serious damage.

When plastic is not recycled (or cannot be recycled), it will ultimately end up in rivers, lakes and finally the world’s oceans. Our plastic consumption is unfortunately on the rise and it is believed that if we carry on like that the amount of it in the ocean will be higher than the amount of the fish. That’s a scary thought! Every year thousands of animals in the sea are killed by plastic. So even though it may seem like a great material it is causing a huge problem for our planet.

What’s more, when plastic is exposed to sunlight, oxygen or the action of waves it breaks into smaller and smaller bits and can easily enter the food chain, the air, the soil and the water we drink. So in turn we can possibly be consuming our own, toxic waste!

So what’s the solution? Of course the best option would be to go plastic free but that may not be possible, as it is difficult to avoid it altogether. However there are things we can do to minimize the problem. Firstly we can decrease the amount of plastic we use by selecting products with eco friendly packaging. We also need to make en effort to reuse plastic, so the single use items are definitely a no-no! And the obvious one, we have to recycle it more!

Plastic pollution has serious consequences and will not go away on its own. We need to act on it, the sooner the better. Otherwise there will be no beaches to enjoy and marine life to explore, just the masses of landfill.