Plastic is one of the most used products for
mankind. It is used in different aspects of our
life, starting from the toothbrush in the
morning and pen for writing to polythene bag in
which we carry different items. Without plastic
our life will become quite difficult on this
planet. However, this useful product comes with
a heavy price. Plastic is one of the most toxic
substances in the world and there are several
hazards of plastic usage.
Plastic is a non-biodegradable product and do not decompose by biological actions of microbes. It takes about 1,000 years for plastic products to break down. They remain in the same state in the environment as we throw them. This in turn pollutes the land, sea and the atmosphere.
On land the plastic wastes block sanitary lines and pipes, leading to water logging on the streets. This causes the outbreak of several air borne diseases, such as cholera, malaria, dengue, etc. Plastic bottles, containers, etc. thrown into the sea or on the mountains remain there for ages. Sometimes animals and birds in these regions consume them mistaking them as food. After consuming the plastic wastes they die slowly as a result of choking or toxin. It is estimated that around one million mammals and sea birds die every year as a result of consuming plastic wastes. This is one of the severe hazards of plastic usage.
Plastic bags are made out of a substance known as polyethylene. Polyethylene is a kind of petroleum. Petroleum is a chief source of our energy, such as electricity, heating, lighting, etc. It is estimated that each year nearly four to five trillion plastic bags are manufactured. Now, we are wasting this precious resource in manufacturing plastic bags when we could use it for more useful things, such as automobile gas.
Proper steps need to be taken to avert the hazards of plastic usage. Burning plastic products emit toxic chemical gases like carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO), nitrous oxide (NO), sulphur dioxides (SO2), methane (CH4), etc. which, in turn, pollute our environment. Hence recycling is a better way to do away with the plastic wastage. Government should issue strict norms for plastic usage. Only recyclable plastic objects should be allowed for use. As a responsible citizen we should always discard all the plastic wastes in proper dustbins. Switching to paper or jute bag is another way to curtail our dependence on plastic.
Plastic is one of the most deadly inventions of mankind. Hazards of plastic usage are manifold. If we do not check the volume of our plastic usages, then very soon this beautiful world will come to an end.