Why should you say no to single use plastic?

In the middle of the Northern Pacific ocean, there is a strange island-like structure that has been developing rapidly since many years. The shocking truth about this structure is that it is not an island, but a huge patch of concentrated non-biodegradable plastic waste collected in the ocean. This cloudy patch of microplastics is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and it is already spread in an area, half to that of India. And to avoid the further spreading of this cluster, we have to say no to single use plastic.

When we use and throw away disposable plastic items, we may wonder what harm a spoon or a cup could do to the environment. But its journey after disposal could be disastrous to the planet. Though many of us find using single-use plastics convenient to use, it might do some irreversible damage to our ecosystem.

Also read 5 Practices That Can Help Saving The Environment

So what happens when you throw away disposable plastic items?

Out of the non-biodegradable plastic trash that is produced, only 10-15% of it gets recycled. The single-use plastics like spoons, coffee cups, plates, etc are too costly recycle as compared to producing new. Moreover, recycled plastic can’t be used to manufacture quality products. Hence most of the time, the disposable items end up in landfills, oceans or incinerators. In each case, polluting the environment.

80% of the disposable plastic that you dump ends up in landfills, where it could take upto 1000 years to decompose completely. That’s too much time. The plastic which is not disposed of properly clutters around drains and eventually ends up being in the ocean. The ocean plastic is a great threat to marine life.  Burning down plastic can destroy it. But burning it without adequate temperatures can lead to the release of chemicals and gases that are dangerous to human health.

Next time whenever you are about to use disposable plastic stuff, take a moment and say no to single use plastic. Remember that it may provide you convenience for minutes, but it will never decompose. It will remain here and pollute the planet forever. 

Vani Joshi

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