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Plastic Pollution: Causes, Effects and Solutions - Way to Reduce plastic waste

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The Global Plastic Pollution Problem


Today, plastic is seen everywhere, which is contaminating the environment. As per an estimate, about ten to fifteen thousand units in India are producing polyethylene.

Plastic is mainly made from synthetic resins emitted from petroleum substances. In the resins, plastic monomers are made by combining ammonia and benzene. Plastic contains molecules of chlorine, fluorine, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and sulphur.

Why is plastic pollution a problem?

Plastic takes a long time to decompose and can leach toxic chemicals in our soil and water, which can have an impact on human health. Wildlife can also get entangled in the plastic or if they mistake it for food they can choke or starve to death.

When did plastic pollution start?

This is our main data entry on plastics, with a particular focus on its pollution of the environment. The first synthetic plastic — Bakelite — was produced in 1907, and is said to mark the beginning of the global plastics industry. However, rapid growth in global plastic production was not realised until the 1950s.

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What are the effects of plastic pollution?

Plastics pollution has a direct and deadly effect on wildlife. Thousands of seabirds and sea turtles, seals and other marine mammals are killed each year after ingesting plastic or getting entangled in it.

Plastic pollution is a serious threat to the environment. The scientists have been warning about its adverse effects for years. The problem has been particularly grave that despite various widely-publicised cleanliness drives, nothing is untouched by the plastic waste, be it villages, towns, cities, metropolises, not even the country’s capital, despite the fact that the use of polyethylene is prohibited. In this regard, the National Green Tribunal has time and again expressed strong displeasure. It has slammed the state governments on the indiscriminate use of plastic across the country.

Wherever the human stepped their feet; the polythene pollution kept on spreading. It has even been contaminating the Himalayan valleys. It has increased in such a way that the government is also campaigning for its prevention. All the places of picnic or outing suffer from it.

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What happens when you Burn Plastic?

Burning plastic waste usually emits carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide gases, which can cause diseases of the respiratory track or skin. Also, burning of polystyrene plastic produces chlro-fluro carbon, which is harmful to the ozone layer of the atmosphere. Similarly, burning of polyvinyl chloride produces chlorine and nylon, and polyurethane releases toxic gases like nitric oxide.

Throwing and burning of plastic both cause harm to the environment equally. There is a large amount of chemical emissions on plastic burning, which, by inhaling causes adverse effects on the respiratory system. Whether plastic is thrown into the ground or thrown into the water, its harmful effects are not reduced.

How can we avoid plastic?

  • Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. If a straw is a must, purchase a reusable stainless steel or glass straw
  • Use a reusable produce bag. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable produce bag and be sure to wash them often! 
  • Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic. 
  • Buy boxes instead of bottles. Often, products like laundry detergent come in cardboard which is more easily recycled than plastic.
  • Purchase food, like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. You save money and unnecessary packaging. 
  • Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.
  • Make fresh squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It's healthier and better for the environment.
  • Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.
  • Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.
  • Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor
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The Process of Recycling Plastic


Recycling takes many steps. First, the bottles have to be collected from homes, businesses, and other sites. Then, every plastic bottle must be separated from metal, glass, and other things that people put into recycle bins. The plastic bottles are also sorted by the type of plastic they're made from. Then, the bottles are cleaned remove any food, liquid, or chemical residue.

Next, all of the bottles are ground up and shredded into flakes. Finally, they are melted down and formed into small pellets, each about the size of a grain of rice. The pellets are bundled up and sold to companies that can be melt them and make them into many different products. Just think of all of the plastic toys, tools, electronic gadgets, and other plastic things in your own home. Many of these are made with recycled plastic.


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