Versatile, pliable, durable, cheap to produce and ubiquitous- well, the plastic isn't all of that. It's a bane too.
The plastic- a substance invented in 1950 to make its life easier than ever before has now started to threaten its very own existence as plastic pollution has contaminated everything without which humans can’t survive.
From our cell phones to laptops, from water bottles to the food plates, everything is made of plastic and once it serves its purpose, it’s thrown. But once thrown, it remains there forever polluting our surroundings because plastic never gets decomposed. Not even after thousand years. Whether it’s the oceans, rivers, ponds, land or even the very air we breathe in- plastic has poisoned every shred of nature around us. It’s high time the adequate steps should be taken because it’s already too late.
Since the 1950s 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been produced across the world and nearly half of the plastic has been produced post-2000. For example, in 2016, world plastics production totalled around 335 million metric tons and since plastic remains as it is without getting decomposed, the recycling is the only option by which it can be contained.
This answers why most of the oceans are now filled with plastic garbage polluting and killing the marine life. Some 18 billion pounds of plastic is thrown into the oceans across the world and biggest of the patch of plastic in the ocean is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is a portion of Pacific Ocean where garbage has got collected due to the current of water and it roughly has 79,000 tonnes of plastic garbage. Discovered in 1997, the patch is spanned in 617, 673 sq miles which the twice the size of France and roughly contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. Plastic recycling rates are highest in Europe at 30 per cent. China’s rate is 25 per cent. The United States recycles just 9 per cent of its plastic trash.
Half the world’s plastics are made in Asia. The lion’s share of that 29 per cent is made in China, home to 18 per cent of the world’s population. The rest of the Asian countries produce 21 percent of the plastic. The nations in North America Free Trade Agreement including the US produce around 18 per cent of the plastic whereas Europe produces around 10 per cent. But when it comes to consumption the US uses the most. The average annual plastic bag usage in the US is highest. A whopping 100 BILLION plastic bags are used by Americans every year. Tied together, they would reach around the Earth’s equator 773 times.
This is the biggest source of plastic menace. In order to make our lives a bit more comfortable, humanity is forsaken our future. The world buys a million plastic bottle carrying water, soft drinks, and what not and this number will top half a trillion by 2021. And to make it worse, only half of these bottles get recycled. No wonder our oceans are filled plastic bottles.
Packaging is something that once removed, never gets used again and nearly 40 per cent of plastic produced in a year is used in packaging which explains why most of the plastic remains here and there and never gets recycled. A massive 161 million tons plastic is just manufactured for packaging followed by 72 million tons used in construction, 65 million tons in textile, 46 million tons for consumer products, 30 million tons for transportation and 52 million tons for others.
Oil has arguably resulted in several wars across the world, but ol all is not used to move vehicles. In industries, nearly 8 per cent of this oil is used to create plastic yearly which will further suffocate earth and push it further towards being lifeless.
Roughly 8 million metric ton of plastic is dumped into oceans across the world which makes it containing more plastic particles than the number of stars in galaxy milky way.
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