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Plastic- A deadly resource

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1 year ago

INTRODUCTION:

Plastic as we know today was originally invented for the purpose of solving important human problems like for manufacturing life saving medical equipments, spaceship parts, automobile parts, etc. Plastics are indeed a wonder material which is cheap, long-lived, strong and can take any shape. The actual inventions and mass production of plastics and it's products began after the end of World War I. With time, it started entering the consumer market with popularization of Industrial revolution where plastic became part of our everyday life. In 2021, it is almost impossible to find a household without plastic ( in any form).

The use cases of plastic has evolved over time, from the more resourceful ones to a single use and throw away products. I am not saying we should ban plastics totally, but keeping in mind it's retrospective effect on environment we need to understand the need to mitigate the problem. The main reason behind the need is it's negetive environmental footprints it leaves in the long run which puts a question mark on the survival/existence of human civilization. The problem is very huge and needs urgent action as it is at present affecting the marine and terrestrial animals including humans, already triggering extinction for some species. At present, current rate of plastic waste globally is 130 tonne per second amounting to 9+ million tonnes per year. The continuous production of plastic products and the ever expanding population has a correlation between them which is inseparable at the same time unsustainable. The more we produce, the more waste we generate. The benefits of plastics are indeed high and is helping humans achieve their needs in many ways. The problem here is the two most common disposal methods :

  • Dumping: Plastic as we know is non-biodegradable which means it takes a lot of time to dispose off naturally. In other words, the first ever plastic manufactured a Century ago is still buried somewhere inside the earth and haven't completely disposed off. Taking that in concern, imagine the continuous plastic waste generated at a rate of 130+tonnes per seconds and the expected time it will take to completely disposed off.

  • Burning: Burning of plastics has been regarded as the fast track solution for disposal as compared to dumping which comes with its own downside. The current air pollution, global warming situation(70%) facing globally is a result of fumes and smoke released from burning fossil fuels/petro-chemical products which includes plastics as well.

Solution:

  • Control over continuous plastic production. The less we produce new plastics products, the lesser we generate in terms of waste.

  • End of single use plastic products.

  • Replacing the chemical plastics with natural eco-friendly plastics.

  • Reuse the already existing plastic products instead of throwing it out as a waste.

  • Reduce the use of plastic products which are unnecessary.

  • Recycling the old plastic to create something new.

  • Most importantly, spread the awareness for the plastic related concerns.

CONCLUSION:

Plastics are indeed a wonder material which has infinite use cases having the potential to boost human development/solve human problems. But it is also important to understand the downside of the use of it in the long run. From the above arguments, plastics are indeed a deadly resource which need to be checked at the earliest time possible.

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