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Plastic Pollution: A Threat to Marine Life

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Written by   68
2 months ago
  • Is humanity only about caring for humans?

  • What about other living beings on this planet?

  • Do they have no right over us?

  • Have we become so blind for our own good that their lives mean nothing to us?

A few questions that all of us must be asking ourselves..

Today, the issue of grave concern that I want to discuss with my read.cash family is the use of plastics that has become a global concern these days. Some of you might be thinking, is plastic something that important to be discussed here? Well yes. The problems related to plastic that I am going to discuss today will open your eyes as how toxic it is, not only for our environment but also for the sea life. 

Plastic is a polymer synthesized using chemicals in laboratories and each year tons and tons of plastic is made owing to the increased consumption of plastic in the form of bags, utensils, furniture, decorations etc. Although other materials like papers, glass etc are also excessively used and have a mass production but in the end they are completely decomposed either by incineration or by microbial activity. Microbes release such enzymes which bring about their decomposition.

The case is different when it comes to plastic. Plastic has been found to retain in our environment thousands and thousands of years in intact forms because it is not that easily decomposed. This leads to piling up of plastic in our surroundings thus contributing to pollution. In addition to that, plastic is also responsible for the production of carcinogenic substance upon heating. These problems are about the dry part of the earth. The conditions get much worse when this plastic is thrown away in rivers and sea. It not only leads to water pollution but it also has devastating effects on marine life. It has been reported that many sea creatures like turtles that prey on jellyfish have engulfed plastic bags thinking of them as jellyfish. Sometimes their faces are entangles in plastic bags due to which they choke to death.

Turtle engulfing plastic

This excessive plastic accumulation in sea has lead to the destruction of coral reefs which are main source of calcium and maintenance of sea life.

Coral reefs: Then & Now

Does it mean we should stop using plastic??

The answer is No! But we can minimise its usage by replacing:

  • Plastic furniture with wooden furniture

  • Plastic shopping bags with fabric bags

  • Plastic decorations with glass etc.

There is another solution to plastic pollution. As I have mentioned earlier that the chemical utilized in plastic production is non-decomposable so by synthesizing plastic from some other substance which is decomposable we can solve the problem of plastic pollution.

A step towards ending Plastic Pollution:

During my BS degree, me and my friends presented the idea of plastic synthesis using starch which is present in many food items like rice, potato etc.

Poster presentation on Plastic production from starch

We successfully produced a plastic sample using potato as starch source.

Plastic made from potato starch

It is an easy and cheap method for plastic production. Besides, it eliminates the dangers accompanying the chemically synthesized plastic as it contains starch which is easily decomposed by the enzymatic activity of microbes.

So by replacing the chemically synthesized plastic with plastic synthesized by organic substances we can’t only protect our environment from pollution but save the marine life as well.

Picture Credits:

First Image is from: https://hakaimagazine.com/news/plastic-pollutions-rapidly-mounting-toll/

Second Image is from: https://www.google.com.pk/amp/s/www.thetravel.com/great-barrier-reef-10-years-ago-vs-now/amp/

Third and Forth pictures are self taken.

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Written by   68
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Comments

You have raised great issue to deal with....we should use bio degradable things which are less harmful for our environment.. ...we have introduced bio degrable plastic bags in our country.....our PM has taken serious and successful step to avoid plastic bags......i appreciate you to raise this topic...

$ 0.01
2 months ago

Yes that’s a very good initiative if only our people follow it .. we can save a thousands of living creatures and our environment as well

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Plastic Pollution is very dangerous nowadays. You may know, Germany is very careful about plastic pollution. They pay extra money for used plastic bottle and other plastic accessories.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

That’s a very good thing to do’ I wish and hope our government may also adopt such measures

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2 months ago

I also wish this. But this i quite impossible for us. Because, As a nation, we are not gentle 😑

$ 0.00
2 months ago

It’s all About determination which is lacking in us. If we develop that we can do wonders

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Wow, that's great my friend, if you can make plastic from potato starch. Unfortunately, plastic pollution is rampant on earth today, in nature, under the seas, in the mountains and plains, on the roads, everywhere is full of plastic. I wish people would pay more attention to our mother earth and the innocent animals on it.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Yes! I wish if we could develop a little sense of awareness to protect mother nature

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2 months ago

Plastic is indeed a threat to marine life Raheela, and the Marine inhabitants carries as much significance as Plastic does. This is Really Educative

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2 months ago

Exactly! Thank you so much

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2 months ago