G E M PLASTIC – A BOON OR A BANE? PLASTIC is one of the best inventions of the 18th century. Plastic is light-weight, durable, low- cost, and has a wide variety of applications ranging from…
a pen, waste paper basket, bottles, shopping bags, kids’ toys, household utensils, storage items, Electrical & electronic goods, industrial & agricultural equipments, medical items, automobile & aircraft parts and so on. Invention of plastic undoubtedly has been the one of the greatest achievements by man.
HOWEVER The PLASTIC THE BEST INVENTION OF MAN has become CURSE for environment In the modern times. Why?
Every year about 300 billion pounds of plastic is produced in the world and not even 5% of it is recycled. So where does the remaining 95% goes? Well most of it finds safe haven in landfills and the remaining is thrown in the oceans. It's a known fact that plastic takes almost 100 years to decompose, but when it's thrown in the water; the action of the sun, water and temperature breaks it into small pieces which helps the spreading of plastic even more. This is very strange but true, in the middle of the Pacific ocean a circular pattern of water currents have accumulated enormous amounts of floating garbage. This huge amount is often referred as the 'Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch'. It was discovered by Captain Charles Moore in the early 1990's and is still growing. SEE NEXT THE CURSE OF PLASTIC
1. HUGE POLLUTION PROBLEM Plastics are used because they are easy and cheap to make and they can last a long time. Unfortunately these same useful qualities can make plastic a huge pollution problem. Because the plastic is cheap it gets discarded easily and can do great harm to the environment.
2. POLLUTION DUE TO BURNING PLASTIC When plastic is burnt, The harmful fumes enter into the atmosphere and has direct effects upon someone who breathes it. And so, NO! we cannot eliminate plastic by burning it.
3. SOIL FERTILITY IS LOST Most of the solid wastes, Like paper, plastic containers, bottles, cans, and even used cars and electronic goods are not biodegradable, which means they do not get broken down through inorganic or organic processes. Thus, when they integrate in the soil, the soil loses its fertility.
4. CHOKING OF DRAINS • CAUSING FLOODS • Urbanization has added • to the plastic pollution, • especially in cities. • Plastic thrown on land can enter into drainage lines and choke them resulting into floods, especially in cities as experienced in Mumbai, many times in the past.
5. DEATH OF LIVESTOCK It was claimed in one of The programmes on TV Channel that eating plastic bags results in death of 100 cattle per day in U.P. in India. In stomach of one dead cow, as much as 35 kg of plastic was found. Because plastic does not decompose/digest, and requires high energy ultra-violet light to break down.
5. POLLUTION OF SEA BEACHES The amount of plastic waste in our oceans is steadily increasing. More than 90% of the articles found on the sea beaches are made up of plastics. The plastic rubbish found on beaches near urban areas tend to originate from use on land like packaging materials.
6. PLASTIC BAGS KILLS ANIMALS About 100,000 animals such as dolphins, turtles, whales, penguins are killed every year due to plastic bags. Many animals ingest plastic bags, mistaking them for food, and therefore die. And worse, the ingested plastic bag remains intact even after the death and decomposition of the animal. Thus, it lies around in the landscape where another victim may ingest it.
7. DANGER TO KIDS Thin plastic bags, Especially dry cleaning bags, have the potential for causing suffocation. About 25 children in the United States suffocate each year due to plastic bags, most under the age of one. This has led to voluntary warning labels on some bags which may pose a hazard to small children.
8. DANGER TO PUBLIC HEALTH The major chemicals used to make plastic resins pose serious risks to public health and safety. Many of the chemicals used in large volumes to produce plastics are highly toxic. Some chemicals, are known to cause cancer in humans; many tend to be gases and liquid hydrocarbons, which readily vaporize and pollute the air. Many are flammable and explosive. Even the plastic resins themselves are flammable and have contributed to numerous chemical accidents. The production of plastic emits substantial amounts of toxic chemicals to air and water, and cause serious damage to ecosystems.
SOLUTIONS WHAT INDIVIDUALS CAN DO? 1. Avoid accepting plastic bags when you finish shopping. Instead, carry a paper or a jute bag with you when you go shopping. 2. Avoid disposing of plastic along with organic wastes. Do not throw waste food in plastic bags or containers. You might just save a life. 3. Avoid using plastic chairs or tables, you could use eco friendly items instead. 4. Plastic is made from crude oil. So lesser usage of plastic also means lesser demand for crude oil products. 5. Keep plastic articles and toys (with small parts) away from the reach of little children. Always supervise kids when they are working with such potential plastic articles. 6. Do not dispose plastic which can be recycled. That’s another means to reduce production of more plastic.
WHAT GOVERNMENT SHOULD DO The more hazardous variant of plastic, the non-recyclable poses a greater threat to our environment. The trouble arises because we have no definitive way of disposing this plastic and hence it lives on in nature forever. A few steps that could be taken to tackle this problem are: Governments should ban production of non-recyclable plastic and also the manufacture of products that use them. Non-recyclable plastic can be used for asphalting roads, as supplementary building materials, and as supportive structures. Extensive research must take place in finding better methods of disposing non-recyclable plastic. People must be educated about the benefits of recycling and must be taught to avoid the usage of non-recyclable plastic.
In conclusion, everyone of us know that plastic is here to stay. But how we let it stay is left to us. Let us make better use of what nature has given us. This PowerPoint Presentation is prepared by GEM (Green Earth Movement) Team. Other GEM PowerPoint Presentations are: Zero Garbage, Solar Energy, Junk Food and Twenty Tips To Save Nature. These PPP CDs may be downloaded from our website: www.stfrancisxavierpanvel.in – refer GEM section Or contact : firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com