Plastic Pollution: A Global Problem
Submitted in partial fulfillment of
the requirement for
Chemistry for Engineers (CHEM031)
Abigail M. ElarmoSeptember 21, 2018
Last 7th of September, the Malayan Colleges Mindanao, held a seminar which was entitled Death by Plastics. The guest speaker was Mr. Darrell Blatchley, an Environmental Situationer, who is famous for his D’Bone Collector Museum and his care for the environment and the animals. Mr. Blatchley is really a great speaker and he has shared a lot of meaningful things that everyone must really hear. I am really still amazed that he may not be a Filipino by blood, but he has the heart for us and to our country, the Philippines. During the seminar, he first started with the topic regarding romantic relationships and asked us a question on what is more valuable, a plastic bottle or a woman’s body. He then preceded relating the subject regarding self-discipline and relating it to the environment’s state of today. He showed us a video that options several stunning traveler spots within the Philippines, however within the middle part of it, it switched to a different view, a different aspect of the country’s real situation. I was very aghast, because I was not expecting such distressing videos and footage relating to how impure our country very is. It featured plenty of places within the Philippines, whereby millions or billions of trashes, particularly within the Pasig River and squatter areas, are simply left there and not doing something regarding the matter. After the video, Mr. Blatchley then talked about the rate of usage of plastic in the world and how it really negatively affect us due to our lack of discipline into ourselves.
According to the National Geographic (n/a), the impact of plastic pollution is that, whenever plastics wastes reaches the ocean, tides and currents, it goes around the globe and circulates the large gyres and some even gets trapped in there. Plastic pollution is globally distributed across all oceans attributable to its properties of buoyancy and strength, and conjointly the action of toxicants to plastic whereas traveling through the atmosphere, have diode some researchers to mention that artificial polymers among the ocean got to be thought to be dangerous waste. Through photograph degradation and totally different weathering processes, plastics fragment and disperse within the ocean, convergency among the subtropical gyres. Generation and accumulation of plastic pollution in addition happens in closed bays, gulfs and seas encircled by densely underpopulated coastlines and watersheds.
In additional, Taylor-Smith (2018) discussed the impact of plastic pollution through uptake and marine fauna, ranging from creature to cetaceans, seabirds and marine reptiles that result to the absorption of organic pollutants onto plastic and their transfer into the tissues and organs through uptake is impacting marine megafauna. These impacts unit of measurement any exacerbated by the persistence of floating plastics, ranging from compound pellets to large derelict nets, docks and boats that float across oceans and transport organism communities, algae, invertebrates, and fish to non-native regions, providing any rationalization to watch the worldwide distribution and abundance of plastic pollution.
Plastic materials is an amazing creation that we tend to use for everything, unfortunately this is also the reason why our environment is polluted. It may be very useful but it can lead threats to the environment and harmful effects to the world such as through marine debris. Marine debris varies from land- and ocean-based sources and impacts many bodies of water and those debris actually never fully biodegrade due to the different composition of chemicals of each plastics being thrown. According to an estimate, we produce around 317.5 million short tons of plastic worldwide (Leblanc, 2018). Imagine how huge that amount is and how big it can occupy a space and unfortunately one in all many sorts of wastes that take too long to decompose is the plastic. Normal plastics would take up a thousand years to decompose in landfills, while some takes 10 to 10,000 years.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – A popular slogan that I believe, almost every people know already. Due to the growing concern regarding the excessive use of plastic materials and its effect to the environment, such ways have been developed to help reduce the amount of plastic waste. Humans are consuming resources and manufacturing waste at a larger scale than ever before, and per capita consumption levels are projected to increase while the development continues (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2015). Recycling of plastics is fascinating; as a result, it avoids the buildup of plastics in the landfills. Reducing, reusing, and recycling are vital for several reasons. For starters, one among the foremost personal reasons: eco-friendly habits save us money.
Bioplastics are created by changing the sugar present in plants into plastic (Mosko, S. PhD, 2012). Bio based plastics can be produced from a wide range of plant-based raw materials.
Leblanc, R. (2018). How Long Does It Take Garbage to Decompose? Retrieved from https://www.thebalancesmb.com/how-long-does-it-take-garbage-to-decompose-2878033
Mosko, Sarah, PhD. (2012). Bioplastics: Are They the Solution? Retrieved from http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/view/856/1/
National Geographic. (n/a). What Happens to the Plastic We Throw Out. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/the-journey-of-plastic-around-the-globe/
Stevens, A.P. (2015). Tiny plastic, big problem. Retrieved from https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/tiny-plastic-big-problem
Taylor-Smith, K. (2018). How Plastic Pollution is Affecting the Ocean Wildlife. Retrieved from https://www.azocleantech.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=729
United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2015). Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2013 Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/2013_advncng_smm_fs.pdf