Plastic was invented as a convenience, something that could help humanity live an easier life. Butas we all know, misuse and abuse of anything can lead to disaster, this is true especially in the case of technology.
Plastic was a revolutionary invention which was thought to be a great boon, but not knowing where to draw the line has turned it into one of the worst curses, not only for humanity, but for our whole planet. It is something that we cannot get rid of in a sustainable way.
It cannot be burned as it produces extremely harmful gases when burned. It is also a non-bio degradable substance, making it really harmful for the soil as it take 100s of years to degrade or decompose.
With more and more plastic being dumped, especially packaging materials which gets disposed soon after their purchase, the landfill space required by plastic is a growing concern. Plastic bags are another growing epidemic. Studies show that nearly 57% of plastic found on beaches are plastic bags.
This waste problem is a major curse indeed, mainly because they take ages to degrade and are extremely difficult to recycle because of the great variety of plastic that are being produced, which are really difficult to distinguish.
Even while degrading, many types of plastic poisons the environment. One of the examples for this is PVC, which contains chlorine. Although there is no noted problems during its usage, the chlorine manages to return to the environment while the waste is processed.
The manufacturing process of plastic also often creates large amounts of chemical pollutants.
Although at first glance the problem looks to be more of an aesthetic one, because plastic appears to be such a happy and colourful product, and because plastic itself is non-toxic. The graver aspects of it only becomes clear upon close inspection.
One area where it completely wreaks havoc is the ocean. After being dumped into the ocean, tiny fragments of plastic gets ingested by fishes, turtles and other aquatic life. A startling number of sea creatures have been found dead, who had plastic in their systems.
This even gets into the human food chain, as fish is a big part of most people’s diet. There appears to be no sustainable way to beat this menace. Some microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi are often used to break down toxic substances such as petroleum. But plastic still refuses to be successfully disposed of. All decay-inducing organisms reach their limits with plastic,which explains the extreme durability of the material.
The convenient curse is upon us, and there appears to be no way out of it.