Plastic Pollution

plastic pollution

What is Plastic pollution :-

  • Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic on earth which is negatively impacting environment and living beings. Plastic is non-biodegradable and takes approx 500 to 1000 years to completely degrade.

Intensity of the situation :-

  • We are inhaling and literally eating plastic. A lot of plastic wastage is dividing into smaller particles and are mixing in air and in land. And hence we are inhaling the plastic particles and eating the plants that absorbed plastic from land.

Causes of Plastic pollution :-

  • Usage of plastic products in increased multifold, and hence the production of plastic is rapidly increased.
  • There are no cheap alternatives to plastic bags and other plastic products. Plastic is very inexpensive, and hence is being used by almost everyone.
  • There is no proper awareness among public about the ill-effects of plastic usage.
  • Though there are bans on plastic bags, the alternatives are not encouraged enough.
  • There is no responsibility assigned to manufacturers of plastic products and hence the production of plastic is still high. Many things such as food items, cosmetic products are all wrapped in plastic because once the products are sold, there is no responsibility of the plastic wastage on manufacturers.
  • Only 21% of the plastic is recycled (till 2017) and all the remaining plastic garbage is polluting air, land and oceans. Recyclable plastic items are also thrown into garbage and are not being recycled.
  • Single use plastic items constitute half of the plastic pollution.

Effects of Plastic pollution :-

  • Plastic garbage is causing land, air and water pollution.
  • Discarded plastic items are dividing into small particles and we are inhaling those particles. When the plastic is burned along with other garbage, it release poisonous chemicals into air which causes severe health problems.
  • Most of the plastic waste is mixing in oceans, posing severe problems for marine life. A lot of ocean animals are dying by eating plastic waste. Fishes are eating polystyrene (small plastic particles). When we eat these ocean fishes, we are indirectly eating plastic.
  • Plastic waste is polluting land and ground water as well. Plants are absorbing small plastic particles. Plastic waste is preventing rain water from seeping into the ground. These products clog drains as well. Bangladesh witnessed worse floods due to plastic waste and hence imposed ban on plastic.
  • Many animals are dying by eating plastic covers.
  • These days everything including food is wrapped in plastic. When these products are exposed to heat, it releases dangerous chemicals such as BPA (bisphenol-a) into food. The same goes with plastic bottles as well. This causes severe health problems when consumed.
  • Poly vinyl chloride & poly carbonates that are present in plastic waste causes skin diseases, cancers etc.
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Steps taken in India :-

  • In India, ban on plastic is different in different states. Recently Mumbai, the biggest plastic waste generator banned sale, import and usage of single use plastic.
  • Single use plastic is banned in 18 states of India. Plastic covers below 50 microns is also banned because thinner bags pose major threat o environment and not recyclable.
  • Almost all states started charging for plastic covers. But this move is ineffective because plastic covers cost just 2 or 3 rs. and everyone is ready to buy them.
  • Plastic ban in Sikkim is very effective when compared with all other states of India.

Best Practices worldwide :-

  • Rwanda banned plastic since 2008 and is likely to become first plastic-free country in the world. The plastic ban in Rwanda is effective because the punishments of selling and using plastic are severe. People are fined, jailed and even forced to make public confessions if they use plastic.
  • Approx 40 countries like India, England, China, Australia etc imposed partial bans and heavy taxes on plastic.
  • Sweden is the best country in effectively recycling almost everything including plastic.
  • In Ireland plastic bags are made very expensive. This step worked well and usage of plastic bags reduced drastically.
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What needs to be done :-

  • Alternatives to plastic bags and covers should be encouraged by subsidies etc.
  • Awareness programs on ill-effects of plastic should be conducted on a war-footing.
  • Plastic waste should be effectively recycled by constructing roads and houses etc. with the plastic waste.
  • We should target at production stage. Supply of plastic items is too high. Manufacturers should be made liable for the waste.
  • Imposing responsibility and heavy fines to manufacturers will force them to look for alternatives to pack their goods, for example some soaps are now being packed in paper materials instead of plastic.
  • At an individual level, we should reduce plastic usage as much as possible. For example, carrying cloth bags to market, using steel water bottles can be our first step to transform our lives into plastic-free.

Conclusion :-

Along with implementing bans on plastic goods, alternative materials should be encouraged. People should feel responsible for the plastic waste they are throwing. To make everyone feel responsible, extensive awareness programs are needed. Eliminating the need of plastic goods and recycling & upcycling of the plastic waste will save earth from plastic pollution.

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  1. Yes.This is the time to change people’s mindset and specifically for rural area.Awareness is needed to know the people how it is harmful for us as well as we should start a campaign for it.Only ban the plastic is not enough.An strict government authority should be there to monitoring all these stuff how successful it is implementing.

  2. for eliminating plastic
    there should be awarness of cons of plastic, how it effects the environment , health through edible and potable items, bottom to top strategy should be followed means dwindle the production first , and there should be alternative to plastic like paper bags , reuseable bags etc. the policy like return plstic and take money should be started .. maharastra started the same policy in july lets see whats the results we get

  3. Plastic pollution is a biggest threat of our country. We everybody has to take oath we will not use plastic goods and plastic bags etc. When we will go to the market to buy some vegetables or grocery item we will carry the cloth bags and we will not use plastic water bottle ,if we will not use the plastic products then manufacturers also will think for alternative product and Govt. should impose heavy penalty those are manufacturing plastic items . Plastic makes the pollution air ,water and land pollution ,it is non-biodegradable and it takes long time to make it degradable. Not only it is pollution for air and water indirectly we eat plastic, plastic mixing ocean water and ocean fish eats plastic, when we eat ocean fish indirectly we eat plastic.Many ocean animals also gets die to eat plastic. We throw plastic on the road it clog the drain as a result of waterlogging. It requires strong awareness not to use plastic, if use they have to pay the penalty. This practice should be stopped . Habit is the second nature of man ,if we practice when we will go to market we will carry our cloth bag then there will be no problem, in this way we can stop use plastic.


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