The effect of plastic pollution on the environment
By now you should know some of the effects that plastics have on the environment, but let’s look specifically at plastic pollution.
Plastic pollution causes harm to humans, animals and plants through toxic pollutants. It can take hundreds or even thousands of years for plastic to break down so the environmental damage is long-lasting.
It affects all organisms in the food chain from tiny species like plankton through to whales. Toxins work their way up the food chain when plastic is ingested and can even be present in the fish people eat.
How plastic packaging can be reduced
Over the last 10 years, most people will have noticed the unnecessary overuse of plastic in packaging.
This is a big environmental problem, with only 14% of plastic packaging used globally making its way to recycling plants, and only 9% actually being recycled. A third is then left in fragile ecosystems, and 40% ends up in landfills.
We have already discussed the positive effects of reusing plastics, but there are some further actions that can be taken to reduce plastic packaging:
- Cook from raw materials to reduce food waste and packaging
- Cut back on unnecessary packaging by trying out scoop shops, or by buying from greengrocers and delis
- Buy loose leaf tea, rather than tea bags
- Prepare your own lunch for work or eat last night’s leftovers.