June 04, 2022 4 min read
Environmental pollution is one of the major concerns in today’s time. With the rapid change in temperature and climate, the impact can already be witnessed. Areas that were never flooded are not experiencing floods recently. The soil is eroding, the water level rises, and glaciers are reaching their melting point.
While the government and big industries must take specific measures to curb such issues, people should also make lifestyle changes to contribute to this mission of moving towards a sustainable and green world.
When it comes to highlighting the top five causes of pollution, plastic tops the list; from equipment to daily household items, plastic seems to have taken over the world. Between 1950 and 2018, around 6.3 billion tons of plastic were produced worldwide, with 9 percent and 12 percent recycled and burned, respectively. Plastic production, trash generation, and pollution are all on the rise due to the rising human population and persistent demand for plastics and plastic items.
Plastics have evolved into a vital and versatile product with various properties, chemical compositions, and applications over the past six decades. Though plastic was introduced as an easy packaging and utility material, irresponsible dumping resulted in a growing issue over the years. Plastic waste pollution is now widely recognized as a huge environmental burden, particularly in the aquatic environment, where the biophysical breakdown of plastics has long-term harmful effects on animals.
Plastic waste can be found worldwide, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. It clogs up city drains, litters national parks and campgrounds, and has been found on Mount Everest. However, due to runoff and people’s habit of throwing scraps into the nearby river or lake, plastic is becoming more prevalent in the world's oceans.
Following are some of the reasons why plastic is termed a harmful item to the environment:
In addition to finding plastic on the ground and in the soil, more than 90% of the world's seabirds have plastic waste in their guts, and more than half of the world's sea turtles have plastic trash in their bellies. Plastic debris is even strangling whales to death. At the current pace of accumulation of plastic in the world's oceans, the mass of plastic in the world's oceans is expected to exceed the mass of all the fish that reside there by 2050.
The negative effect of fracking is well known to everyone. It releases toxins in the soil, air, and water and produces underground cavities that collapse into sinkholes. To make the situation worse, one of the primary products of fracking is plastics. Fossil fuels extracted from shale and other rock formations are converted into resin pellets, then used to make more plastics typically designed to be single-use.
The consequences of wildlife consuming or becoming entangled in plastic trash have been recorded more extensively and frequently than ever before in recent months. Whales and other marine mammals, birds, sea turtles, and fish consume plastic that gets entangled or lodged inside their digestive tracts. They are neither biodegradable nor digested. When eaten, chemicals leached from plastics cause starvation, intestinal obstruction, or gradual poisoning.
There has been an increase in plastic items at the industrial level and in households. Individuals who are aware of environmental issues and want to do their bit in conserving the planet can start by removing plastics from their kitchens and houses and replacing them with glass. Crockeries such as glass bowls and glass containers are a good move towards an eco-friendly environment, but they are beautiful in design, add an aesthetic to the kitchen, and do not affect health.
Almost everyone has had the terrible experience of consuming something in a plastic container or bottle. It can be as minimal as the lingering flavor of something other than food in the container. This is due to the use of harmful chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) can, which can be damaging to human consumption. Glass storage containers do not leach chemicals and do not absorb the scents or flavors of other food. Glass containers with lids are advisable in the kitchen to store grains and other perishable and non-perishable items.
Glass food storage containers are easy to clean and won’t lose their clarity when washed or infused with fruit and herb mixes as plastic containers do. People can also use glass bowls in the oven and later clean them, which, on the contrary, is not possible with plastic.
Glass containers maintain food items at a constant temperature better than plastic containers, whether hot or cold. People can use these containers to store any kind of food item without the chance of it absorbing foreign flavors, smells, or colors.
Glass is infinitely recyclable, which keeps it out of landfills. Most plastic bottles end up in landfills or waterways. Even recycled plastic products do not always make it through the entire recycling process, making plastic's ability to be a sustainable resource even more difficult. Only seven of the thirty varieties of plastic are routinely approved for recycling. On the other hand, glass is recyclable, and the color of the glass is the only criterion for classifying it. Most of the glass is created from recycled post-consumer glass that has been crushed, melted, and shaped.
Glass containers retain flavor and are healthier for people and the environment. They do not release any chemicals when hot food is put in these containers. The most significant advantage is that they can be utilized in microwaves, air fryers, and other machines.