EnvironmentLand PollutionPollution

Main Causes of Plastic Pollution

Sources and reasons for plastic pollution

Main causes and sources of plastic pollution

Plastic pollution has become one of the major environmental issues these days. Plastic is manufacturing in a variety of modes, which is just increasing the numbers every day. The major counts come from single-use plastic products and are challenging our ability to deal with these numbers.

Causes-of-plastic-pollution
various causes of plastic pollution

Plastic pollution can be seen throughout the Earth’s surface, especially in the Asian and African countries. Plastic dumps are not only destroying the land and air, but it is also spoiling marine life. They are composed of highly toxic material that causes harmful effects for both humans and animals. Plastic denotes the durability; hence it is a non-biodegradable product. This is the reason; plastic takes more than 100 years to decompose. It is essential to understand the problems caused by plastics so that we can start the process from its root cause.

The major sources of plastic pollution are improper disposal of plastic, overuse of plastic and a low rate of the recycling process. However, many other reasons cause plastic pollution becoming a significant threat to the environment.

What are the Causes of Plastic Pollution?

There are various reasons for plastic pollution which are as follows –

Population growth & urbanization

Population growth and urbanization are directly related to plastic pollution. The demand for less expensive material is increasing with the increase in population every year. The manufacturing industries started manufacturing more plastic products to fulfill consumer demand. Urbanization has started moving on rapidly, which increases the use of plastic items in our daily lives. Growing population rate and urbanization enhance the causes of plastic pollution, which are polluting the wildlife, marine life, and the environment as a whole.

Excessive use of plastic material

From the past few decades, plastic has taken the place of highly used material in the world. The reason for the popularity of plastic is its less expensive and durable features that make this product quite affordable for everyone. The pollution due to plastic are increasing day by day with the excessive usage of plastic products. Plastic takes many years to decompose. Hence it starts accumulating under the Earth’s surface. This surface restricts the rainwater to enter the ground level, which will cause scarcity of water to the up-coming generations.

main-causes-of-plastic-pollution
Pollution due to plastic

Plastic is cheap & affordable

Plastic is quite affordable not only to manufacture but also for the use of consumers. It is a more competitive product to produce as compared to other materials. This is why the production of plastic items has increased a lot from the past few decades. The long-lasting quality and beautiful presentation of plastic products are enough to attract the attention of the consumers.

Just think for a while, you will find that every single product of our daily use is made up of plastic material such as water bottles, straw, lunch boxes, packaging products, containers, etc. Plastic is undoubtedly a cheaper material, but it causes plastic pollution which can damage our present and our future too.

Plastic products of daily usage

Many plastic products are of no use once it is damaged. For example- toys. Now almost 99% of toys available in the market are of plastic material. We all know how often kids play with these plastic toys and how constant is the rate of damaging these toys. Once these toys are damaged, it only increases the amount of plastic debris on Earth’s surface. As already discussed that plastic takes many years to decompose. Hence the plastic waste caused due to toys also causes plastic pollution.

Trash dumps

Plastic has entered quite more in-depth into our life, starting from a small item like a pen to a big one like big plastic containers. All the items of our daily use, whether it is milk, juice, or a water bottle, everything is covered with plastic material. Sometimes these products may contain tiny particles of plastic, which can cause serious harm to us. The plastic is not only a threat to human beings but also cause harmful effects to the environment. 

When we dispose of the plastic dump here and there, these dumps become toxic pollutants and thus cause plastic pollution. Plastic pollution has become a major issue to deal with across the globe. The plastic landfills, unfortunately, are affecting the wildlife and the groundwater quite severely. This is the high time to take some necessary steps to tackle with various causes of plastic pollution.

Excessive use of single-use plastic

The overuse of plastic due to its cheaper quality is one of the major reasons for plastic pollution. Most of the plastic items are single used plastic products such as plastic bottles, carry bags, disposable plates & glasses, packaging items, etc. This single-use plastic only increases the count of plastic waste, causing harmful effects to humanity, animals, and the environment as well. The use of single-use plastic may minimize our efforts but, unfortunately increasing the risk factor a lot by causing plastic pollution.

Shipping Industry

The shipping industry is another cause of plastic pollution. The poor people living around the sea beaches have to fall prey to plastic pollution. The beaches have to bear a vast amount of plastic debris every day that comes from ships, shipping wastes, sea accidents, fishing nets, etc. This plastic waste causes harmful effects on the marine ecosystem. Sometimes the plastic waste also causes the death of innocent marine creatures.

Low rate of decomposition

As we know, that decomposition is essential to maintain balance in the environment, but plastic takes 100 years to decompose, which is the sad truth to the environment. This is the reason; now, the Earth is covered with a massive amount of plastic at every part of its surface. The strong chemical bond of plastic is the reason for the slow rate of decomposition. Let’s take some examples of different plastic items, how long they will take to decompose. According to the researches and reports, few examples are –

  • A simple plastic bag used to carry items takes almost 50 years to decompose.
  • Plastic bottles take almost 400 years to decompose.
  • The fishing nets have a strong chemical bond of plastic that usually takes more than 500 years to breakdown.

Now imagine how worst is the present situation caused due to the unstoppable over use of plastic products. As long as the newly manufactured products will be continuing in the market, the causes of plastic pollution will remain unchanged as it is.

Improper disposal of plastic wastes

You must have heard that plastic lasts for a long time; hence it is not easy to collapse this material. The landfill of plastic disposal continues to release harmful toxins in the surrounding and cause plastic pollution throughout the area. If you try to burn plastic to decompose, it will cause more severe damages to the land, air, and water.

Recycling is the new method used to dispose of plastic, but unfortunately, this process also releases plastic pollutants in the environment in various modes that causes plastic pollution too.

Plastic pollution is a big problem for everyone. We can tackle this big environmental issue, but cooperation is needed from every single hand. If we all work together, we can make a difference. Before we unite together to handle the problem of plastic pollution. What are your thoughts on it? Reply in the comment section.

Source
national-geographic

Fahad

I am a Post Graduate in Marketing and supply chain management with over 3 years of experience in a professional job and one-year experience at NGO. Earth Reminder must be our topmost priority because the resources which we are using today will not be there tomorrow. The sad part is we are not giving it back, for example- Cutting trees daily but not planting new trees daily. Products that we are using are not natural anymore as some kind of manipulation is always there. Even now, vegetables are not naturally grown from the soil as people use chemicals to grow them faster. With Earth Reminder, I am raising concern by bringing informational content related to earth care to the world and guiding them to contribute towards the Mother Earth.

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