Plastic Pollution In Modern World

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Abstract

Plastic pollution is one of the largest issues facing the world’s oceans. Plastic, which is not degradable and remains in the environment for long periods of time, is frequently disposed of improperly. As a result, oceans are littered with fragments of plastic, nets, packaging, bottles, and debris that poses a serious threat on marine wildlife. In order to protect aquatic animals and habitats, it is important to not only properly dispose of and recycle plastic, but to develop and use plastic alternatives as well. The following paper discusses the negative effects plastic pollution has on wildlife and the potential for biodegradable plastics and their waste management.

Introduction

With over 280 million tons of plastic produced annually1, the world has become a plastic society. Durable and inexpensive, plastic is an ideal choice for consumers. However, plastic is a substance that cannot be degraded. There are various forms of synthetic plastic, including polyethylene, polyvinylchloride, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyethylene terephthalate, and polyurethane. Over one third of plastics produced are manufactured into cups, straws, and stirrers that people use every day.

To better understand plastic pollution, it is helpful to analyze the creation, lifespan, and disposal of a plastic bottle. In this process, plastic is produced by polymer chains of polyethylene terephthalate, which are melted and shaped into a plastic bottle. The bottle is then filled, packaged, shipped, and consumed. After consumption, the bottle is disposed of.If it is taken to a landfill, the bottle will take a thousand years to decompose and can poison water flow. If the bottle is disposed of in water, it will eventually reach the ocean and be drawn towards the vortex where plastic accumulates. If the bottle is recycled, it is transformed back into raw plastic and repurposed. Unfortunately, the bottle will most likely end up in the ocean, furthering marine plastic pollution.In the past century, there has been a growing concern over plastic pollution.

Plastics are long-lived and non-biodegradable, making them a major marine environmental issue. Ocean gyres in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans, have become the final graveyard point for plastics.1As a result, ecosystems and marine wildlife are severely impacted. Therefore, it is necessary to deter the negative impacts of plastic pollution on marine wildlife by developing and using biodegradable plastics.ResultsPlastics are lightweight and durable, allowing them to travel far distances. According to the Plastic Oceans Foundation, more than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year.2When plastics are improperly disposed of, such as along shorelines, the ocean carries the plastic into gyres. An ocean gyre is a large-scale circulation pattern, flowing clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern. Due to Ekman transport, the flow of water perpendicular to driving winds, water eventually spirals into the center of the gyre, where it accumulates plastic garbage.

These garbage patches coincide with regions of the ocean that have low nutrient levels and depleted wildlife. Thus, plastic in the oceans is posing a great risk to marine ecosystems.The greatness of plastic pollution in oceans has increased drastically in the past century.

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