How Plastic Contaminates The Earth And What Can We Do About It | the ReFab Diaries

Plastic is one of the most widely used materials in the world, and while it has many benefits, it also has a dark side. Plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to our planet, and if we don't take steps to address it, the consequences could be disastrous. This article will explore the ways plastic contaminates the earth and what we can do about it.



Destroying the soil

First, chemicals leaching from plastic film are destroying the fertility of our soil—if everyone used a plastic wrap alternative instead, it could be a game-changer. 

When plastic is not disposed of properly, it ends up in landfills where it does not decompose. Instead, the sun and rain break it down into smaller pieces called microplastics. These microplastics are then ingested by animals who can't distinguish them from food. As a result, these animals either die or pass on the toxins to us when we eat them.

Polluting the ocean

The oceans suffer tremendously from the polluting effects of plastic. It is estimated that there are currently around 150 million metric tons of plastic in the ocean. This has caused many problems for marine life, including entanglement, starvation, and drowning.

One of the most significant ways that plastic pollutes the ocean is through the process of photodegradation. This is when sunlight breaks down the plastic into smaller and smaller pieces over time.

These tiny pieces are called microplastics, and they can be ingested by marine life. Microplastics are so small that they can easily pass through the digestive system and enter the bloodstream or organs of animals that eat them.

For example, a study found that of the 100 turtles examined, all of them had microplastics in their stomachs. Not only does this cause health problems for the animals, but it also means that the plastic polluting the ocean ends up in our food supply.


Harming terrestrial wildlife

It's not just the animals in the oceans that are being harmed by plastic contamination. Terrestrial wildlife is also suffering. Animals on land often mistake plastic for food, and when they eat it, they can suffer from blockages in their digestive systems.

Scientists say that as many as 90 percent of all seabirds have ingested plastic. This is having a devastating effect on bird populations around the world.

In addition to harming individual animals, plastic pollution can also disrupt entire ecosystems. For example, when turtles eat plastic bags, it can cause them to lay fewer eggs. This could eventually lead to a decline in the turtle population, which would then have a ripple effect on other animals that depend on turtles for food.

It takes a long time to decompose

Plastic can take up to 1000 years to decompose. That means that every bit of plastic ever made still exists in some form today. And since we're making more plastic than ever before, the problem is only going to get worse.

How does this happen? Well, when plastic breaks down, it doesn't just disappear. It breaks into smaller and smaller pieces until it's microscopic. But those tiny pieces never go away completely. They end up in our oceans and our food supply, where they can cause all sorts of problems for animals and humans alike.

Negative effects on your health

Your health will suffer if you're constantly exposed to plastic. That's because plastic is made of synthetic chemicals, including hormone-disrupting phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

These chemicals can leach out of the plastic and into your body. They've been linked to a variety of health problems, such as:

  • Cancer
  • Infertility
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

So if you want to protect your health, it's important to limit your exposure to plastic. Here are a few ways you can do that:

  • Avoid drinking from plastic water bottles.
  • Don't heat food in plastic containers.
  • Choose products that come in glass or cardboard instead of plastic.
  • Recycle plastic products whenever possible.

What can you do about this?

So, what can you and I do to help reduce plastic pollution? Here are a few easy ways to make a difference.

Recycling should be the first thing you think of when it comes to plastic, especially packagin. You can also look for opportunities to reduce your reliance on single-use plastics; think grocery bags and bottled water bottles - they're the items most likely to end up in our water systems. Start carrying a reusable water bottle, coffee mug, and/or grocery bags with you.

Avoiding straws is another way to reduce dependence on single-use plastics. If you must use a straw, try using a reusable metal or glass straw instead of a disposable plastic one.

These are just a few suggestions and there are many more!

Plastic destroys the soil of the earth and pollutes oceans and wildlife. It takes a long time to decompose and has negative effects on your health as well. To avoid it, use alternatives, recycle, get reusable equipment and avoid using plastic whenever you can. Spread the word about the dangers and start making the world a better place!

SHARE 0 comments

Add your comment

All comments are moderated. If your goal is to insert spam links to other sites, your comment will not be published.