What Happens to the Plastic You Throw Away?

Our Earth is being Suffocated by Plastic Pollution — It’s time to make a change! 

While plastic has numerous useful applications, humans have developed a dependence on single-use or disposable plastic, which has serious environmental repercussions.

Every minute, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased around the world, and 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year. Half of all plastic produced is intended to be used once and then discarded. 

Since the early 1950s, researchers estimate that more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been manufactured. Approximately 60% of the plastic has ended up in a landfill or the environment. 

Meanwhile, India generates approximately 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste per day and 9.46 million tonnes of plastic waste annually. Around 60% of plastic waste (15,384 tonnes) is collected and recycled, while the rest is left in the environment uncollected and littered. 

Not All Plastics are Recycled:

Plastics, unlike other recyclable materials, cannot be converted into anything. The truth is that just a small percentage of plastic is recycled. 

The petroleum and gas industries that create the majority of that plastic in the first place, as well as the beverage firms that rely on plastic to bottle their products, have shaped and paid for the general idea that plastic is easily and extensively recycled. 

Companies that pay for commercials that portray recycling as a simple solution to a potentially catastrophic environmental problem are well aware that recycling cannot keep up with the flood of new plastic. 

So, What Happens to Plastics:

  • Either they are recycled,
  • Buried in the grounds,
  • Burned to ashes,
  • Or thrown in the waste.

Plastic buried in the ground and discarded in the rubbish degrades into microplastic, which ends up in our food, air, and water. They also build up in our bodies, increasing our risk of chronic inflammation and other diseases. 

By 2050, our oceans may contain more plastic than fish if current trends continue. 

Why can’t all Plastics be Recycled?

  • Plastic products are frequently made up of a complex mixture of chemicals, making it more difficult to separate recyclable basic material. 
  • Recycling has a very little financial incentive. Manufacturing most forms of plastic from start is significantly less expensive than recycling old plastic into something new. 
  • PET plastic bottles, such as those used to sell soda and water, and HDPE milk jugs, are two types of plastic that are both economically viable and relatively straightforward to recycle. However, in 2018, just 29% of the plastic used in these jugs and bottles was recycled.

How to Cut Back Plastics?

Companies must produce less plastic, and recycling services must be retooled so that more of what we toss away is actually transformed into something valuable.

Plastic output is anticipated to more than double by 2050, and even if it doesn’t, the plastic rubbish that people continue to discard will need to be disposed of. 

How Government can Help:

  • Public Awareness Campaigns,
  • Providing Recycling Incentives,
  • Imposing Heavy Taxes and Banning certain products.

Africa stands out as the continent with the greatest number of countries prohibiting the manufacture and use of plastic bags. 

India is now trying to take a stand against plastic pollution by banning the sale and usage of single-use plastics (SUP). A SUP is a commodity that is a plastic item that is designed to be used once for the same function before being discarded or recycled.

From July 1, 2022, the following materials, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, will be prohibited from being manufactured, imported, stockpiled, distributed, sold, or used. 

The world countries must band together to save the Earth!

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