In this era of rapid industrialization and civilization, plastics have come to be of great use in our daily lives, be it a general good carrying conventional plastics or our lunch box. Since its first discovery in 1907, plastics are serving us of excellent services either in day to day activities or in the medical sector. Plastics are lightweight, extremely easy to carry, and are readily available in the market. Even we don’t have to buy them; it is freely available when we go to any market as they come in handy in carrying any grocery items. At this point, the use of plastics of so extreme that we see its adverse effects on nature and living beings. Yes! These plastic bags we are using daily are heavily costing us our beautiful environment. After the heavy use of plastics and its components for an extended period, it has affected our environment so severely that immediate strict measures should be applied. Better late than never, we still have got rooms to improvise our imbalanced environment by banning the use of plastics and its components and promoting paper products and other non-plastic products.
Recent research shows us that the primary source of water pollution is the mixture of plastics and its components. The first and foremost impact of plastic is on the aquatic lives. It is found that big marine mammals and fishes are dying and floating on the beach because of eating the plastics. The inside of those dead marine animals was found to be full of big lumps of plastics and pollution. How dreadful it is. Using plastics may be making our life more comfortable, but we are murdering other creatures like aquatic animals. The chemical formation of plastic is such that it does not degrade or takes thousands of years to degrade. Because of this unpleasant characteristic of plastic, the plastics we are littering every day everywhere are just sitting there underground, polluting the land. These plastics bags break down into its smaller components but does not become the one with the soil. These smaller components decrease soil fertility and hence crop productivity. The worst part is that it remains on the soil for lots of decades. Burning them could be the best idea to remove the existence of plastic, but unfortunately, burning the plastics only creates the worst scenario. The smoke produced during the burning is way more deadly and severely pollutes the air. So, the disposal of the plastics has thus become a big challenge.
Many countries across the continents have either banned the use of plastics of charged their taxes on the plastics to promote the minimal use of plastics. Countries like China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Australia, England, Germany, and many countries from Australia, America, and Africa have banned the use of plastic. The Chinese government has said that the ban on plastic has led to a two-thirds reduction in plastic bag usage. It has become a necessity to act quickly on this matter as it has threatened the existence of living on the planet. Despite different attempts, still, it is difficult to control. Plastic being non-biodegradable, different big companies have promoted the reuse and recycle of plastics.
One way or another, human beings are affected by the overuse of plastics. Research and the experimental report show that we are eating the microparticles of plastics daily. Either we believe or not, these microparticle components of plastics we are serving are primarily from aquatic animals like fish. These microparticles being mixed on water bodies are consumed unknowingly by aquatic animals, and we consume those aquatic animals. This way, those smaller components of plastics we are using for a comfortable life and littering everywhere are reaching on the human body as well. What could be more shocking than this? Using plastic to heat food in the oven releases the toxins to the food, which upon consumption cause disease like asthma, cancer, and ulcer.
Looking upon all those terrible effects caused by overuse and unmanaged disposal of plastics, it becomes necessary to take some effective approaches. Maybe we cannot get rid of using plastics as it has become an inevitable component in our daily life, but yes, we can minimize the use of plastic daily. It is now or never because plastics have adversely affected the environment and lives and may bring an imbalance in nature, which may be challenging to balance again. We can search for an alternate resource for replacing plastic bags like paper products and others. It is our global duty to protect and preserve our earth and its resources for our future generation. Banning does not mean completely throw away the plastics. Its use on light purpose should be eliminated, and only on crucial purpose, plastics should be used, and it takes all of our support and active participation to make this global mission come true.
Umesh Niure Sharma