Plastic Pollution’s Definition: Why We need to know

Pollution

Plastic pollution is a prominent problem that we as a planet are facing together. As the issue with plastic pollution gets worse, we need to be able to identify and fix the issue. In order to do that, first, we need to understand plastic pollution’s definition. By understanding plastic pollution’s definition, we can then spot the problems and carry on to fix them. Keep on reading to find out more about plastic pollution’s definition and why it is important to know it.

What is Plastic Pollution’s definition?

Plastic Pollution’s definition can be described as the accumulation of plastic pollutants in the environment. Often this accumulation is caused by reckless human activities that are based on excessive usage and careless disposal of plastic. Plastic pollution’s definition itself carries great depth of information regarding the dangers it poses and explains how plastic pollution has much greater problems associated to it than being just a displeasing sight. It is a source of the plight for humans, animals and especially the environment. Plastic when enters in the food chain of animals result in fatalities. When it enters the ocean, it can get stuck to the gills of fish and brutally suffocate them to death. When it is exposed to humans it results in deadly-diseases like cancer and when it becomes too prevalent on planet earth it makes it unsustainable and unfit for the survival of all organisms.

Why is it so important to know about plastic pollution’s definition and its effects?

A beach filled with plastic bottle and other waste = plastic pollution definition
Ever since plastic was introduced in 1862, it has become hard to imagine life without it. In fact, it is one of the most essential parts of all of our industries and is crucial to perform daily life activities like shopping. The usage of plastic is now considered to be the easiest and cheapest method available for various purposes such as packing applications, containers, baby products, water bottles and the list goes on. Over time our dependency on plastic has escalated to such an extent that the thought of a plastic-free life has become hard to imagine. We are so blinded by the convenience and easy-to-use and easy-to discard away nature of plastic bags that we tend to completely ignore the threat posed by plastic pollution. I mean, just pause for a second and observe the area you are sitting in. Count exactly how many objects that are lying around in your bedroom/office made of plastic? I am sure that it will take you quite a while to list down all the plastic products and this is exactly why we need to know more about plastic pollution and its dangers.
Let us discuss plastic pollution’s definition and its impact on humans, animals and the overall environment in depth. But before that, let me share some distressing facts and figures with you. These statistics will help you understand fully the need to address the plastic pollution issue. It will also shed some more light on the severity of the issue and enhance your knowledge regarding this subject.

  • Since the 1950s, around 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced
  • By the time you finish reading this, a million plastic bottles would have been purchased by people across the globe
  • Around 2 million plastic bags are used in just 60 seconds
  • Plastic Pollution is responsible for killing more than 1.1 million seabirds and animals every year
  • On an average you will eat around 70,000 microplastics every year. How disgusting and alarming is that!
  • Over the past 50 years instead of decreasing, world plastic production has increased by almost a double, greatly endangering the earth’s sustainability


What does plastic pollution’s definition tell us about its impact on human health?

As the plastic pollution’s definition states, constant exposure to plastic pollution can result in a variety of complexities to human health. Listed below are just a few of them:

  • Plastic pollution is very dangerous for toddlers who may chew pieces of plastic. This can result in choking and even death if the child is not taken to the hospital urgently
  • Excessive exposure to plastic pollution can result in adverse health outcomes such as birth defects, impaired immunity etc.
  • It is the root cause of several complications to the human cardiovascular, respiratory, reproductive, and gastrointestinal systems.
  • Makes the exposed person vulnerable to diseases like Cancer, diabetes and chronic inflammation
  • Ingestion and inhalation of large amounts of micro-plastic particles and other toxic substances found in plastic can cause long-term endocrine-disrupting impacts.
  • Entry of micro plastics can lead to other health hazards such as oxidative stress, apoptosis, and necrosis

A detail article about the impact of plastic pollution on humans.

What does plastic pollution’s definition tell us about its impact on animals?

  • Animals may mistake plastic for their food and consume it. This consumption may lead to blockages in their intestines and put them in a great deal of pain
  • Plastic objects can get stuck around the heads of animals or get wrapped around their legs. This can cause the animal excessive scarring and disable it permanently in the form of loss of bodily organs
  • Animals that get stuck in plastic objects may also find it hard to search for food and may die of starvation
  • Plastic pollution is also recognized as one of the biggest dilemma of marine animals. The toxic chemicals present in plastic halts the growth of phytoplankton’s that fish feed on. With no food supply, the fish may die of starvation or may eat floating plastic, mistaking it for food again leading to unhealthy consequences

(10 Facts About Plastic Pollution You Need to Know)
Find out more about the effect of plastic pollution on animals.
Hence, plastic pollution is life-threatening to all humans, marine-animals and animals on land.

Conclusion

Plastic pollution's definition include these nets, as they are hurting marine animals.
I am sure that after understanding the plastic pollution definition, you would be keen to know how you can help stop plastic pollution. Well, once you decide that you actually want to help and contribute responsibly to society, it would become very simple for you to adopt environment-friendly ways and have a sustainable approach in all matters. You can start by making little changes, for example, using reusable bags for shopping, bringing your own cutlery when ordering food and just ditching plastic altogether! Practicing the three R’s, reusing, recycling and reducing can be helpful too. Once you are done bringing about a positive change in yourself, inspire a friend to do the same and help put an end to plastic pollution!

If you are looking for a general article about plastic pollution, here you go.

Resources:
“10 Facts About Plastic Pollution You Need to Know.” Giving Compass. 02 Apr. 2020. Web. 22 Feb. 2021.

               
Author: Monica Chang
On my own ethical journey since 2010. Always happy to learn more!