After drinking water, where do you drop your plastic bottles? This is a question many have never asked themselves but rather just drop the plastics anywhere. No one gets to care what happens after its deposited which eventually leads to plastic pollution.
Plastic pollution refers to the accumulation of plastic materials on the earth. This is one of the most environment pressing issues since there is high production of disposable plastics which overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them. These end up in the food chain which then affects human health.
Plastic management falls under the 3rd SDGs which talks about ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. If plastics are poorly disposed of, they reach the environment chain as macro or microplastics which accumulate in the food and agricultural chain such as the terrestrial and aquatic foods. Plastics in the environment leach toxic substances making them available to affect human health. The micro or macro plastics enter the human body through ingestion, inhalation, or dermal entry. These plastics then find their way into the important body tissues causing the following:
- Oxidative stress
- Cardiovascular diseases
- neuro-generation diseases
All these will occur in our lives when we continue poorly disposing of these plastics. The public should implement the following strategies to reduce the plastic burden.
REDUCE: The better way to reduce the plastic burden is not to use it. Let’s prioritize the use of paper material for packaging all our foodstuffs other than plastic bags. We can also opt when buying food to reject packaging food e.g. chapati in plastic bags. Also, avoid disposable plastics and use durable bottles e.g. other than buying plastic water bottles, get a metallic bottle for water.
REUSE: This makes economic and environmental sense to reuse products. Instead of dumping a plastic bottle that has been used to by water. Use the same bottle for buying water other than dumping it in the environment.
RECYCLE: Mainly this when the plastic is not dumped but rather used for a new purpose as a new product. Instead of throwing the plastic, recycle it as using it as a bucket for floor or use it for modern farming.
Some such even show plastic water bottles being used as a construction material.
Only after understanding that we have one planet that we should protect, plastic pollution effects will continue to be one issue affecting our health. However, let the population be solely responsible for reducing, reusing, and recycling plastics so that the quantity and effects are reduced.
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