While plastic is utilized in almost every household and sector, its manufacture and disposal constitute a significant environmental danger. Unfortunately, it takes decades for the materials used to produce plastic to breakdown. Furthermore, the manufacturing process produces harmful compounds like ethylene oxide, benzene, and xylene, which can cause a variety of diseases and ailments in humans as well as contribute to air pollution.
When plastic has outlived its usefulness, it is either burned or discarded. These methods of plastic disposal tend to pollute the air, water, and land. When plastic is burned, it releases poisonous compounds into the atmosphere; however, when it is discarded, it finds its way into water bodies and soil, contaminating both water and soil and increasing animal and bird death. Even when plastic is recycled, it can be hazardous to recycling plant personnel. Workers are more likely to have respiratory difficulties and skin problems. Most plastic recycling plants, on the other hand, ensure that workers are provided with proper safety equipment.
Plastic use is more common in rural areas, and as a result, plastic pollution has a longer lasting impact in these locations. This is mostly due to the lack of suitable plastic disposal facilities in rural areas. Unfortunately, this increased use of plastic results in the mortality of animals who unwittingly swallow the improperly disposed plastic bags and bottles. Plastic that has fallen on the road is also washed into surrounding water reservoirs and storm drains during rainstorms. Plastic that finds its way into drains tends to clog them up, creating a breeding environment for mosquitoes. Plastic in water reservoirs, on the other hand, tends to contaminate the water that is delivered to houses and farms for drinking and irrigation over time.
Plastic decomposes slowly, releasing harmful chemical compounds such as bisphenol A, styrene trimer, and a plystyrene by-product. Bisphenol A is known to cause problems in animals’ reproductive systems. Once plastic enters the water, it slowly degrades, posing a serious threat to marine life and aquatic birds. Marine animals might become entangled in the spilled plastic and perish slowly. When marine life and other animals consume smaller particles of plastic, they can choke and suffocate.
As governments become more aware of the adverse impacts of plastic pollution, they are enacting legislation to prohibit the use of plastic bags. In addition, steps are being conducted to recycle plastic in order to avoid dumping and improper disposal. Many recycled plastic products currently on the market are biodegradable. Burning plastic is also prohibited in certain locations due to the unpleasant emissions.