Is plastic safe for the environment?

25 Jun 2019
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25 Jun 2019
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Global plastic consumption out of control

Until recently we didnt know how much plastic was piling up around us. When we found out the picture was not pretty. Global plastic consumption needs to be  pruned back radically now. 

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There are plenty of sustainable alternatives for most plastics
Yes plastic is killing marine life around the world.
There's a lot of physical evidence as well statistical evidence
Offers no evidence
The problem is in disposal and not consumption
Agreed Plastic is killing marine life and therefore messing up the ecological system we as humans rely on to stay alive
Plastic is ending up in the stools of children
The above argument is not valid
The term "plastic" is very broad and there are plastics which are necessary for the smooth functioning of the modern world
The quantity of waste being produced is far more than the means to recycle them.
Plastic waste can be recycled and re-used. Several uses listed in Descrptn.
Plastic materials are leaking into the ocean and destroying marine life
Plastic has made life easier and can be recycled
 The big problem with Plastic is the waste created after its use 
Plastic is dangerous as it is ending up in our food
Global plastic consumption out of control

Glass is a great alternative for most plastic bottles

Plastic packaging can be eliminated. Newer, cellulose-based packaging is water proof, sustainable and cheaper.

One-time use plastic can be eliminated - especially cutlery, straws and such 'optional' items.

100% recycling is done only in Northern Europe.





How do you know plastic is killing marine life? and how do we know it's a significant effect? 

Due to the prevalence of plastic in our daily lives, we have become a disposable-oriented society, where throwing something away after use is acceptable. In our quest to provide convenience , we have ignored its long tern effects on the environment and nature.

Plastic is killing marine life and therefore messing up the ecological system we as humans rely on to stay alive. 



The topic is about plastic consumption and not about plastic production.

The problem is mostly to do with single-use plastics which are used once and discarded. Eg.polythene packets, cartons, tetra-packs etc.

There are very few recycling plants. Most developed countries prefer to dump their waste in third world countries.

Use1: US car manufacturer Ford found a way to use recycled materials and bioplastics to create lightweight automobile trim material. This initiative not only reduces the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with mining hydrocarbons and refining them into plastic, but also decreases GHG emissions due to the cars’ higher fuel efficiency.  

Use 2: Another excellent case is the development of Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle containers – which use plant-based plastics.

Use 3: Israeli company named UBQ materials has created a process to take household garbage and, through a patented conversion process, turns it into fully functional material that can be used in the manufacturing of durable products – such as deck material – and molded and extruded plastic parts – such as garbage cans or plastic pipes. What’s more, UBQ’s team ensures that their plastic products actually serve to permanently sequester carbon emissions – creating a sustainable thermoplastic material that is not just low-carbon or carbon-neutral, but carbon-negative.

Use 4: Saudi Basic Industries Company has a joint venture with an English firm called Plastic Energy to create a "chemical recycling" plant in the Netherlands that will turn plastic from a linear economic source of waste to a circular economic renewable resource.

The essence of the chemical recycling of plastic is different from the "mechanical recycling" that most people know. Mechanical recycling is the process of cleaning, chopping, and melting down of used plastic to create uniform plastic pellets that can be melted down with virgin plastic and reformed into a new plastic good.

Chemical recycling through a process known as pyrolysis heats plastic under pressure in an anaerobic environment in a way that breaks the plastic down into its component hydrocarbons. The result of this process is plastic feedstock – undistinguishable from that coming out of a refinery – ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, and several other useful industrial products.

In a sense, chemical recycling would be the equivalent to taking used paper and, rather than making cardboard out of it, turning it back into raw timber.

Plastic pollution is killing marine life and destroying the oceans. At least 8 million tons of plastics leak into the ocean each year, and at this rate by 2025, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (by weight). Over 700 marine species might go extinct due to plastic pollution, and even the smallest marine species are important to the marine ecosystem. It’s evident that serious action needs to be taken regarding plastic consumption.

Going without disposable plastic entirely would leave us worse off, so we need to tackle the problems without losing all of the benefits. 

Plastic is a modern wonder – lightweight, flexible, and tough – perfect for holding everything from carbonated drinks to frozen dinners to houseplants.

By the year 2050, humans will have manufactured 50 billion tons worth of plastic – most of it only used a single time before being discarded. Only a small proportion of the plastic will be recycled, a proportion that may be getting smaller now that China has halted imports of waste plastics. 

According to National Geographic Society, nine million tons of used plastic finds its way to the ocean every year, collecting into enormous floating islands, being eaten by ocean animals, and breaking down into microparticles that find their way into our food.

Until recently we didnt know how much plastic was piling up around us. When we found out the picture was not pretty. Global plastic consumption needs to be  pruned back radically now.