PLASTIC POLLUTION: The trend of our generation.
Much of the planet is swimming in discarded plastic, which is harming animal and possibly human health. Can it be cleaned up?
Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues, as rapidly increasing production of disposable plastic products overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them. Plastic pollution is most visible in developing Asian and African nations, where garbage collection systems are often inefficient or nonexistent. But the developed world, especially in countries with low recycling rates, also has trouble properly collecting discarded plastics. Plastic trash has it prompted efforts to write a global treaty negotiated by the United Nations.
Plastics in the years have taken over our beaches and surroundings as a result of the improper way people dispose them from houses, Vendors and people who buy in bulk and sell. Plastic pollution can afflict land , waterways and oceans. It is estimated that 1:1 to 8:8 million metric tons of As human population increases so does our demand for goods and plastic waste enters the ocean from coastal communities each year.
Living Organisms, particularly marine animals can be harmed either by mechanical effect such as entanglement in plastic waste or through exposure to chemicals within plastics that interfere with their physiology effect on humans include disruption various hormonal mechanisms.
As of 2015, about 380 million tons of plastics is produced world wide each year. From the 1950s up to 2018, an estimated 6.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced worldwide, of which an estimated 9% has been incinerated. This large amount of plastics waste enters the environment, with studies suggesting that the bodies of 90% of seabirds contain plastic debris. In some areas there have been significant efforts to reduce the prominence of free range plastic pollution, through reducing plastic consumption, litter cleanup and promoting plastic recycling.
As we use them to make life easy, we must think of the end of the life of plastics, as they also have expiry dates. Most plastics are made from fossils, that is, petroleum, and as Ghana is discovering large quantities of oil by the day, it means in a global and circular economy, plastics will reign for sometime, if not for a long time.
Single-use plastics, such as drinking straws, shopping bags, plastic drinking containers, plastic bottles caps, food packaging (Styrofoam, which contains styrene and benzene), among others, have been and are indiscriminately disposed of in an unfriendly and unsightly manner awaiting cabinet nod, we nonetheless suggest that another look should be given to the subject.
Domestic livestock are dying after ingesting plastics products, evidence of which can be found in the digestive tracts of ruminants when they survive the foreign matter in their entrails and slaughtered for meat. The seriousness we should attach to the anti-plastic war should go beyond the kid’s glove approach. Perhaps the compulsory inclusion of the addition of a certain chemical addictive to render plastics biodegradable should be considered. That is, in our opinion, the way and not the unfeasible attitudinal change approach.
The emptying of domestic wastes in our drainage systems continues unabated as well as plastic pollution through our recklessness and uncaring attitude towards the environment. Little or nothing is being said about the threats posed by plastics at public forums where the subject is treated largely for academic purposes. Even our fisherman have started complaining about plastics competing with their catches when they go on sometimes week long ventures
The Government concern about the loss of jobs and the trickling effect of the socio economic action of plastic ban and how this informed the ‘not-to-ban’ approach. Considering the volume of plastic waste, generating on daily basis in the country and how some these end up in the Atlantic Ocean and the effect thereof, we think the radical approach should be a better option.
4. Plastic pollution needs urgent attention because the negative implication on the environment, water bodies and humans.
5. Ministry of Sanitation and Natural Resources, Ministry of Health and other regulatory bodies.