Nowadays, plastic pollution is a global problem, as plastic becomes extremely necessary for the production and the main type of waste. Because of its legality, is plastic spread around the world. Oceans suffers from pollution mainly due to plastic garbage, such as bags, bottles, toys, food wrappers, fishing gear, cigarette filters, sunglasses, buckets, and other types of debris. Pollution of the oceans with plastic trash is one of the biggest environmental problems. And people should solve it if they want to make world a better and ecologicly safer place. The following paper explores the danger of such seemingly insignificant theme as plastic pollution. It informs the reader about the general aspects of pollution. It covers the causes and consequences of this factor and exemplifies the set of solutions that can ultimately solve the problem once and for all.
General Aspects of Pollution, Causes, and Consequences
Increased consumption increases the growth of plastic waste, and as a result, it leads to the toxic pollution of rivers, seas, and oceans of the Earth. Plastic pollution is one of the global factors that harms the nature and it may lead to the total environmental collapse. If urgent measures are not be taken, many fishes and birds might soon be on the verge of death. According to Natural Resource Defence Council (2014), “We’re treating the oceans like a trash bin: around 80 percent of marine litter originates on land, and most of that is plastic. Plastic that pollutes our oceans and waterways has severe impacts on our environment and our economy.”
In fact, plastic trash is the main factor of polluting seas and oceans. All these wastes after falling in the seas, quickly begin to appear in the stomachs of turtles, fishes, and whales (Moore, 2015). Mammals, different fish, turtles, whales, mistakenly understand plastic bags and packaging for food (Le Guern Lytle, n.d.). After swallowing plastic, the outcome can be the poisoning in the best case and death in the worst case. In addition, the plastic particles become good homes for bacteria and algae. Furthermore, plastic moves and touches everything around it, and as the result of friction, it dissolves into smaller components and poisons the living environment microorganisms within the sea. Consequently, fragments of plastic waste get into the food of all living beings on the planet. Nowadays, plastic dust can be found in any coast worldwide.
Unfortunately, the level of plastic pollution grows dramatically fast. As it is stated in the report on plastic pollution,
There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic trash in the world’s oceans, and each year, 8 million tons of plastic are added to the count. That’s equivalent to one municipal garbage truck pulling up to the beach and dumping its contents every minute. (Groden, 2015)
On land, the situation with plastic pollution is not better. Plastic comes back to the land, allocates into it the toxic substances that are then transferred to the chain digestion of plants and from plants to mammals that include human as well.
There are ways of solution of this serious problem of plastic pollution. The following list represents the idea of how to delay and possibly stop this global catastrophe in the biosphere of the planet.
The Reduction of Plastic Waste
It is one of the points of almost all programs dealing with pollution and it requires certain elements such as reducing the use of plastic products in the form of containers and different packaging as well as significant reduction of the garbage at landfill sites. Landfill waste is often found the coastal waters of the planet.
Plastic is not good for people’s use even after it has been recycled. Its usage can still be harmful to the organism of the human. It is also not profitable for recycling because it loses its quality and it is suitable only for the manufacturing of small items.
On the Level of Mass Media
The goal is to film and distribute broadcast that show the terrible images and consequences of pollution. It should also provide a viewer with statistical information on the extent of plastic production, its usage, and the recycling of plastic, polyethylene foam, etc. Printed editions should publish articles of this direction based on surveys of public opinion and highlight them in every way. Attention should be drawn actively to prestige of use of such materials as metal, linen, ceramics and returnable glass containers, as well as the prestige and healthy image of those who use such packaging.
On the Level of Educational Institutions
The educational system should have an obligatory rule of curriculum on the ecology, natural history, life safety, and similar topics that cover this polluting issue. In can be done by showing movies to the students and giving them task to read the articles and other
scientific materials, assign homework to write essays on the topic such as: “What can I do to help world to solve the problem of plastic pollution?”, etc.
On the Governmental Level
To curb the usage of plastic and promote recycling, the government should raise the price of the recycled materials.
On the Level of Enterprises
It is well known that such fast-food chain as McDonald’s is very proud of the fact that they make paper packaging. Employees advertise it in every possible way, and it significantly helps them in the creation of a positive image of the company. At the beginning stage of enterprise, it is necessary and sometimes even vitally important to start with this type of marketing strategy. Moreover, by using paper containers, the logos of the advertising company can be printed easily, which will raise the awareness of the company.
On the Legislative Level
The main aim should be the issuing of bills that demand obligatory use of environmentally safe packaging for certain types of goods.
Raising Wareness of the Current Problem
Hasselberger (2014) gives simple and at the same time very useful advice on how to raise chances of eliminating plastic pollution problem by stating “Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to reduce plastic in our lives and the nasty impacts of plastic pollution.”
Pollution is a negative aspect of the life of the planet. It is a serious problem that should be eliminated in a proper way. The growth of global production of plastic that ends up in the oceans is a serious threat to all living creatures. There is some danger in microparticles of plastic, the dissolved pieces of plastic in the water that can accumulate in living organisms.
The main strategy of dealing with plastic waste is raising people’s awareness about the harm of plastic to the nature and, of course, the transition to cleaner production of packaging, utensils, household items that can be made from paper, glass, and other substitute materials.
All these actions can help the expansion of the environmental outlook of the world population about the understanding of the current environmental situation, the correct behavior waste and natural resources. Therefore, the world will deal with the plastic pollution problem.