The advancement in various forms of technology and the increasing size of the world’s population have resulted in all sorts of products that make life easier. One of these inventions is plastic. Although plastic is made from natural materials such as crude oil and coal, it contains toxic elements that are detrimental to the health of human, animal, and plant life.
Plastic is versatile and can be molded into various forms such as buckets, disposable cups, plates, food packaging, synthetic fabrics and utensils. Plastic can be found almost anywhere that human activity takes place.
However, in recent times, plastic’s problem as a contributor to environmental pollution has become a chronic problem everywhere. This issue is so grave that many countries have taken the initiative to ban plastic products, while others are slowly coming on board as governments and legislators become aware of the detrimental effects of plastic pollution. Plastic waste affects activities on not only land but also water bodies and aquatic life.
Effects of plastic waste
Plastic waste has become a global issue. As a response, governments and other stakeholders are engaged in finding more environmentally friendly products so that fewer tax dollars will be used to fix the problems associated with plastic waste.
- Improper disposal of plastic means it is often washed into water bodies, which in turn destroys fish and other sea creature populations.
- Plastic waste causes flooding and destruction of life and property when the waste materials block drains
- Plastic takes thousands of years to break down and releases toxic chemicals into the food chain as it does so
Is there anything that can be done to rectify this issue? Certainly! With a collective effort, plastic waste can be eliminated from the environment. Bioplastics and recycled plastics are better for the environment.
Many alternatives to plastic are available for household and business use. Some alternatives to plastic are listed below.
1. Use Glass Containers
Although glass must be handled with care to avoid breakage, glass containers and jars can be recycled and kept in use for years. These are not only used in households for items such as jams and preserves; businesses also use recycled glass bottles and jars. This practice results in the consumption of less plastic, lowering demand and the need for production.
2. Refrain from Using Single Use Plastic Items
These items include drinking straws and plastic bags. Improper disposal of these items usually results in high land and water pollution levels due to inappropriate disposal.
Single-use plastic items can be replaced with environmentally friendly containers, like those made from bamboo, wood, or other eco-friendly material.
3. Bottleless Water Coolers
Businesses are making their mark as it relates to protecting the environment and reducing the use of plastic. One method that is making strides is the introduction of bottleless water coolers. Ensuring that clean, safe water is available to staff is very important for morale and health. Bottleless water is cost-effective and avoids contamination. Reducing the use of plastic bottles is welcome news for environmentalists and other stakeholders.
4. Support recycling efforts
Recycling uses materials like plastic to produce material that is better suited to the environment. Cardboard and paper are organic materials that are commonly used in recycling. This billion-dollar industry also provides millions of jobs which helps to boost the economy. Even though most of the plastic used is not recycled but becomes a menace in the environment, recycling plays a significant role in maintaining a wholesome environment.
5. Use packaging made from mushroom, seaweed, or corn starch
Since businesses are also guilty of discharging waste into the environment, they can reduce plastic waste using packaging material that does not negatively affect their surroundings. These include packaging material made from mushroom, seaweed o corn-starch.
6. Take Responsibility
Finally, it is imperative that everyone realizes that the preservation of the environment is everybody’s business. While governments, the business community and other interested parties are doing their part to reduce reliance on plastic and ensuring the sustainability of the environment, citizens should also become proactive. All citizens must obey government regulations and take responsibility for maintaining their own space. These actions will result in substantial tax savings and a clean, healthy, and beautiful environment for all.