Out of a potential billion planets in the universe, our planet Earth is the only habitable planet so far. Thousands of species of flora and fauna, bacteria and other micro species has been in co-existence with the most intelligent of all, Humans. As we evolved ruling over the world and the other species we have failed to realize the importance of saving the world. The biggest threat in the recent news against the environment has been ‘a million plastic bottles per minute.’
The threat has taken horrific shape shaking the environmentalists for it will soak us in the near future if we don’t stop abusing the planet. The time is high enough to talk about plastic bottles.
As per recent news, statistics show that humans are buying a million plastic bottle per minute and about 20,000 per second, 90% of which are left unrecycled, polluting the ocean water and the landfill. In 2016, 480 billion plastic bottles were purchased globally and half of them turned to trash.
The reports also indicate the increasing number of the use of the plastic bottles will cross 20 percent or 583.5 billion bottles by 2021.
The beverage companies have been producing billions of bottles per year which fails to go through the recycling process. As per the report, the giant beverage company, Coca-Cola alone produces 100 billion bottles per year.
Plastic bottles are always a threat to the environment, contributing its share to global warming and filling ocean water. As per the speculation of scientists, plastic bottles in the ocean will exceed all the fish by 2050.
So, the question comes into play, why not stop using plastic? The simple answer is the economic benefit for it is cheaper than other material or the durability that stands as special for the users. Also, recycled plastics are not crystal clear which has been stigmatised as bad for business for which the top beverage companies use only 7 percent of recycled plastic.
By filling the ocean water with plastic we are creating a huge problem for the environment, with plastic beverage bottles alone ruling over the plastic ocean. According to the Container Recycling Institute, 100.7 billion plastic beverage bottles were sold in the U.S. in 2014, or 315 bottles per person, 57% of which were plastic water bottles i.e. 57.3 billion sold in 2014. The scale of production of plastic bottles has increased from 3.8 billion plastic water bottles sold in 1996 which is the earliest year for available data of plastic use.
So, how scary is plastic pollution?
To answer the question we must include ‘one-time-use’ plastics like plastic bags and other stuff made of plastic that we use regularly. A plastic bag has an average lifespan of 15 minutes and after use, it takes hundreds of years to biodegrade. Plastic not only affects the soil and its fertility but it has a wide range of horrific record in ocean water. Marine life is in real danger as the environmental scientists speculate. Whales and dolphins are being found dead with plastic trash in their stomach. Seabirds and other species are also in the clutch of the horror which threatens to overthrow the marine ecosystem.
The entrance of 8 million tons of plastic into the oceans has formed a collection of 5 trillion plastic debris of which most are small particles. Plastic debris has been a threat to the global ecosystem as 70% of the oxygen in the atmosphere is being produced from the marine plants. The disturbance of plastic debris to marine life affects not only the marine species but also the humans and other animals living on land. The food chain has been in a constant struggle to cope up against the plastic waste in the ocean.
It is indeed the horrific statistics of the increasing rate of pollution. Plastic alone contributes a great share to the global environmental crisis. It is high time for humanity to abandon the use of plastic for an environmental change or to help to sustain the ecosystem for the sake of the planet we live in.