We read all about it–landfills are overflowing, aquatic habitats are severely degraded, trees and plants are unable to breathe–all because of the use and use of a single material: plastics. Because more than half of the plastic we use is discarded after one use, it reaches marine ecosystems and landfills. Nonetheless, which plastics are the main contributors to plastic pollution?
There are so many different kinds of plastics; for now there are at least seven kinds of plastics, even though the seventh group is miscellaneous. Take a look around your room and see how many plastics you use every day in your life. Each plastic has its own unique effect. Most of these products have a health impact due to many of their harmful ingredients, such as BPA, phthalates and flame retardants. But let's get to know our plastics that so strongly consume and affect our lives:
#1 Food and Beverages
31.14 per cent Food and beverage packaging is the most popular single-use product we experience every day. It is hard to deny that plastic is rife in our daily food and beverage choices because it decreases food waste and increases accessibility. However, every chocolate bar wrapper, snack bag, and fast food container adds up to one major plastic dilemma. These single-use plastics are the most hazardous forms of plastics because many of them can not be reused or recycled due to lack of available technology and recovery markets.
Bulk purchases of snacks and food in reusable containers and the elimination of packaging are the best means of fighting these items.
#2 Bottle and container caps
15.5 per cent Bottle caps are one of the major contributors to plastic pollution in the oceans and seas. Marine ecosystems are severely affected by caps because many forms of marine life mislead these caps for food. Plastic pollution kills an average of 100 million marine organisms per year from disease, malnutrition and more.
The solution provided by Save the Albatross Coalition is to encourage producers to' Leash the Lids' where caps are designed to be inseparable from their bottles Plastic caps are sorted by color at Material Recovery Facility
#3 Plastic bags
11.18 per cent Plastic bags are a major problem for marine life. We get caught up in birds, livestock, and wildlife that confuse them with food, which can be fatal. These also constrain the growth of trees and plants, since these entangle themselves with the roots of the tree, which prevent the growth.
However, initiatives such as bans on plastics, taxes and levies on the use of plastic bags have been successful. For example, Australia has cut its plastic bag usage by 80 per cent due to bans on plastic bags. Many outlets also opted for paper, cotton and jute bags as alternatives.
#4 Straws and Stirrers
Straws and stirrers are too thin to go through the recycling process, which ensures that they have three final destinations: landfill, incinerator or ocean. If they end up in the ocean, they are a real harm to marine life and wildlife.
Restaurants and hotels should have a' press first policy' where straws or stirrers should only be given on request. Most restaurants use bamboo and paper straw as alternatives. Initiatives such as' No Straws Attached' are catalyzing hotels and food chains to move towards sustainable alternatives.
#5 Beverage Bottles and Containers
7.27 percent Bottles are made from PET, the most highly recycled plastic. Nevertheless, they still fail to reach recycling facilities and pose a major threat to marine life.
The best alternative for drinking water is to bring a reusable bottle of your own. In ensuring that there are easily accessible water filling stations, the need to buy bottles is limited.
In the future, as plastic reaches our atmosphere without being collected or recycled, our world is failing. Collective action is needed to curtail the use of plastics. Plastics has brought us new challenges, but creativity is the secret. We need to start redesigning and rethinking our consumption and production. In the meantime, we need to make voluntary actions and efforts to keep contaminants at bay, not at sea.
Curb your own plastic consumption and reduce your impact on the planet by moving #PlasticNeutral today.