We humans have a complicated relationship with plastic. When it first hit the scene, it was a revolution. Industry the world over went plastic-mad and only now are we facing up to the consequences of gorging on plastics for so many years.
You will have used plastic a lot already in your life. From consumer items like toothbrushes, kitchen utensils, bowls and so on, to single-use plastics like disposable cutlery and straws to microplastics. Microplastics are just small fragments of decomposing plastic, but they also include things like microbeads that are in beauty products.
It’s estimated that microplastics will take 1,000 years to decompose on this planet. Yet we are still churning out plastic to the tune of 340 million metric tonnes per year. Around half of that figure are single-use plastics! And yet, we seem completely desensitised to the absurdity of that waste. For a few moments of convenience, we are happy to use something that will take a thousand years to decompose and you don’t even think twice.
This infographic ‘Plastic Not So Fantastic‘ from Climadoor discusses the topic of plastic pollution and how it is affecting our natural habitat. Discussing the waste that can be found at the top of Mount Everest all the way down to the deepest ocean, it shows that the entire planet is affected by plastic pollution and details how different ecosystems and parts of the natural world are affected.
From our mountains to rivers to lakes, beaches and beyond our rubbish is piling up and it’s getting out of control. At what point do we say enough is enough? Is it when we have a garbage patch floating in the ocean that’s roughly the size of Texas? Is it when we find plastic waste in the Marianas Trench? Is it when marine species keep mistaking our waste for food and choke on it? Is it when whales wash up on beaches with stomachs filled with plastic that caused them to starve?
All of those things are happening right now.
The time for debating and blaming and pointing fingers is over, and everyone must come together and do more to waste less. From making changes in your life, to simply raising awareness amongst your peers, it’s all hands on deck!