- May 1, 2020
Environmentalpollution has always been a problem affecting our environment. Manyorganizations, as well as individuals, have raised some concerns onthe same issue but there have not been any significant changes onpreventing pollution. There are many different types of pollutionwhere we have air pollution, water pollution, and soil pollution.Also, in all these forms of pollution, there are different kinds ofpollutants. Types of pollutants include plastics, pollutant gasses,chemicals from industries fumes, and much more. In this paper, weshall have a discussion on the issue of plastic pollution and the wayit has affected the environment.
Itwould be substantial for us to consider thinking about how theplastics affect us once we use and dispose them in the environment.The increased population around the coast has increased the use ofplastics which later get in the oceans and on the shores (GuernLytle, 2016). The production of plastics has also, increased over thelast 50 years: in 2013, 299 million tons of plastics were producedshowing an increase of 4% as compared to the year 2012 (Guern Lytle,2016). The production of plastics has continued to increase up to nowand thus has become a contributing factor to the increase in disposalof plastics on the land. The plastics on the lands later find theirways to the ocean. If someone could walk along some coastline, onecan understand what I am talking about: There is a disgusting picturewhere one finds all kinds of plastics on shores, some floating onwater surface.
Theincrease in population would indeed increase the level of plasticpollution because there would be an increase in amounts of plasticused in a precise location. We all use plastics in our day-to-daylives, for example, plastics used to pack juices, polythene bags andother plastic equipment. I have realized that a day cannot endwithout a person using plastics and disposing them irresponsibly.What if the number of people using those plastics increases? It wouldmean that the number of plastics used would increase with theincreasing population. As the usage of plastic increases, the chancesof poor disposal of these plastics would increase. If the plasticsare disposed poorly along the coastlines, then, they find their wayinto the ocean where they bring about pollution.
Also,the increase in population increases the demands for plastic sinceplastic is the most common material for making packaging containers.Due to rising demand in plastics, more plastics are made so as tosatisfy the market needs. An increase in production of plastics wouldlead to an increase in chances of plastic pollution. Pollution wouldincrease since many plastics would be in a particular environment inwithin a short period. If these plastics are disposed poorly, we willhave them in our environments specifically on the coastlines. Theselumps of plastics destroy the beauty of our environment and alsobring some other adverse effects. We all love seeing our habitatsbeing as natural as possible. Therefore, increased plastic pollutionwould lead to the generation of a disgusting picture of ourenvironment.
Apartfrom the disgusting picture, plastic pollution hurts the life of seaanimals. According to Dr. Saido`s study plastics do decompose at analarming speed, contrary to what we think. When these plasticsdecompose, they release toxic chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA) and PSoligomers (Guern Lytle, 2016). The sea animals are thus in a risk ofingesting these chemicals and metabolizing them in their systems(Guern Lytle, 2016). The release of these chemicals will thus pose agreat problem shortly since once a toxic chemical accumulates inbodies of a living organism, the consequences are adverse. The deathof sea animals will thus rise and can lead to the extinction of someanimals. Apart from ingesting the chemicals, some see animals likebirds and fish do ingest some small plastics that are invisible bythe naked eyes. Evidence of plastic ingestion is observed in thestomach of birds’ cadavers lying on the shore of oceans whereplastics of different colors are seen coiled in the intestines (GuernLytle, 2016). These effects of plastics raise the alarm to everyperson interested in the oceans. What we need to do to preventplastic pollution is through the production of biodegradable plasticsof banning the use of plastics. At an individual level, we shouldensure that we dispose plastics at the right places to avoidpollution.
Eventhough it would not be possible to see the chemicals released byplastics poorly disposed of in our oceans, there is a likelihood ofthe presence of chemicals in the plastics. The reason to thelikelihood of the presence of chemicals is that, everything we see ismade of chemicals. Therefore, when plastic is on the water surface,the substances used to make the material could get into the aquaticenvironment. Once ingested by sea animals, the chemicals would leadto serious long-term effects and even death of the animal. Theseadverse effects come up because the chemicals are not part of theorganism’s chemical processes. Once in the body of these animals,these chemicals would interrupt the normal chemical processes leadingto serious effects and even death. Serious effects to sea animalswould include hormonal imbalance which affects growth andreproduction
Anothereffect of plastic pollution leading to the death of sea animals isthrough ingestion of these plastics. The death, in this case, is notcaused by the toxins in the materials but due to indigestion ofplastics. Plastics are not digestible in the stomachs of livingorganism, if ingested they block the digestive canal leading to deathsince flow of food is hindered. If small pieces of plastic could killone sea animal, for example, a bird, what would happen if the numberof plastics in the oceans increases? Many birds and other animalswill die leading to an imbalance in the aquatic ecosystem. Thesedeaths could also lead to the extinction of these organism leading toloss of diversity. Sea animals probably eat the plastics since theyresemble the food eaten by these animals. If we dispose of plasticsin the right places, we shall prevent them from getting into ouroceans and thus prevent the effects of plastic pollution.
Fromthe essay, we have seen how plastic pollution has affected ouroceans. The increased population and the increased production ofplastics are the major contributing factors to plastics pollution. Itis evident on some shore that there is a problem in the disposal ofplastics. Plastics have adverse effects on our environment as itdestroys the natural beauty and also leads to the death of seaanimals. Sea animal dies after ingesting the chemicals released asthe plastics decompose. Also, through ingestion of small pieces ofplastics found under the water surface also leads to the death of seaanimals. To control the problem of plastic pollution, we can eitheruse biodegradable plastics or ban use of plastics for good. Also atan individual level, we should dispose plastics at the assignedareas.
GuernLytle, C. (2016). The Great Plastic Tide. The Great Plastic Tide.Retrieved from http://plastic-pollution.org/