“It’s just one straw, it’s just one plastic cup, it’s just one plastic bag”

7.8 billion people

Do you ever wonder where “away” is when you throw stuff “away”?

There is no waste that does not degrade in nature. Humans, on the other hand, invented plastic, which, due to its qualities, will always be considered “unnatural” in the ecosystem. Plastic production is low-cost, and the material’s possibilities are limitless. Because of its widespread use, plastic virtually always finds up in the environment, resulting in more plastic pollution. Every day, you come into contact with many sorts of plastic, such as a lunch box or, more commonly, a plastic bag. Plastic pollution has reached every corner of the world. It’s made its way to the depths of our oceans, isolated forest routes, Arctic ice, and island beaches where turtles lay their eggs. And the amount of plastic waste in the oceans is so large that it is referred to as the “7th continent”. By next decade, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish, if current trends continue. We don’t know how long these plastic will take to degrade (or if it will ever degrade), but we do know that once it’s in our soil, rivers, and oceans, it’s impossible to remove. Away from the seas, plastic waste is a major issue, overflowing landfills, clogging rivers, and polluting the environment through open burning or cremation. Some plastics also contain and absorb harmful substances, putting wildlife and humans at risk.

Now, the first thing which comes to our mind when we think of a solution to this problem is recycling. But truth is only minimal percent of plastic is recycled on a global scale. Even in advanced nations, household plastic recycling rates are frequently less than 50%, with very little of it being transformed back into packaging. The majority of “recycled” packaging waste gets down cycled into lower-value or non-recyclable products, only delaying the plastic’s final trip to the landfill.

What are our options now? Short-term objectives could include reducing needless packaging that is difficult or impossible to recycle and increasing the use of reusable and refillable methods for carrying and storing goods. We’ll need to adjust our consuming habits in the long run.

The most effective strategy to combat this problem is to alter our mindsets and habits with these challenging but really useful methods:

The classroom is an excellent place to begin discussing this problem and possible solutions. Kids may improve their science knowledge and leadership skills while also learning how to make the world a better place. Educators have the power to encourage students to make a difference in the world.

By volunteering or protesting: Citizen Activists are cleaning up riverbanks, parks, and beaches in their communities, and using these events to identify the polluting firms.

There are inventive methods to prevent single-use plastics whether you’re arranging a dinner, a picnic, or even a large-scale community event.

Plastic can pollute the environment if it is not properly managed, yet it also has several benefits, such as resistance. As a result, many plastic things can be reused or adapted to new uses. It is critical to explore how plastic things can be repurposed before discarding them. And support restaurants, food chains, shops that choose to reuse.

The battle against plastic is long and hard but it’s our battle to fight, so that the generations ahead don’t have to bear the consequences of our mistake.

Categories: Education, World

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