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Plastic Pollution

Plastic- What is it? What are the reasons it is polluting our environment?

Plastic is made from natural materials such as coal, cellulose, natural gas, salt and crude oil through a chemical process (polymerization-small molecules turned into molecule chain, polymer or polycondensation-combining different molecules into a chain accompanied by the elimination of low-molecular weight by-products).

In the late 20th century, we have become dependent on plastic as an affordable, versatile and durable material that is found basically everywhere.

So why plastic is so bad?

1. Production:

Turning these organic material into plastics pollutes the water. The residue produced by

these facilities often spill into natural resources and pollute our rivers and oceans with

chemicals that can be toxic to the animals.

And let's not forget all the water that is needed for the produce of plastic and the

greenhouse gas which is a byproduct that pollutes the air we breath.

2. Use of plastic produce:

Researchers have found that different types of chemicals in plastic can release out of

the plastic into our food or any other consumable product. Some of these chemicals

have been found to be associated with many different health issues. This release of

chemicals happens even faster when the plastic is exposed to high temperature.

A very good example is tea bags, did you know that tea bags contain micro-plastic

which leach out of the bag into the tea? 3. Plastic waste:

Third of the significant amount of plastic that isn’t recycled and ends up in landfill

or in the developing world, thrown into unregulated dump sites. The rest that doesn't get collected enters our environment, polluting our oceans and

causing damage to our ecosystem. It is important to remember that plastic is slow to

degrade (taking over 500 years and even more) due to its chemical structure.

“There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere.” Annie Leonard