It is evident that plastic pollution has become a serious problem .More and more people are concerned about how to solve this problem .Using plastic is very normal in human’s life .People use plastic everyday like plastic bottle, plastic bag. After people use them, people throw them away, which is plastic pollution. According to Wittenberg (2009), “today between 500 billion to one trillion are used annually. Over one billion plastic bags are distributed free to consumers each day. ” This essay will discuss the Ocean pollution problem, landfill problem and economical problem and then introduce how can individual, governments and school to solve the problems.
Firstly, ocean pollution problem by plastic is becoming more and more serious. So much plastic is flowing into the sea, which pollutes the ocean. The UN Environment Programme (2006) estimated that “every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic”. Besides, some marine animals mistake plastic as food.
It is harmful to them. Wittenberg (2009) state that because of plastic, more than one million marine animals and bird die.
Many sea turtles mistake plastic as jellyfish. So plastic are lodged in their digestive tract, contributing to slow and painful death. This information indicates that how serious the plastic pollute the ocean and does harm to animals. If human eat the marine animals whose digestive tract contain plastic, the plastic will then be harmful to humane themselves. Secondly, landfill is another problem. The rubbish that humans throw away every day contains a lot of plastic. Because plastic has harmful chemicals, Humans need to bury them deeply. In addition, plastic need a long time to decompose. Wittenberg (2009) points out that plastic bag contain PCBs and DDEs chemicals. It takes 1000 years to decompose. So the land humans can use is becoming limited. According to Clean Up Australia Ltd (2009), “Australians dispose of an estimated 4 billion plastic bags, or 20,700 tons of plastic, that can be recycled.
Even plastic bags that are reused as bin bags end up in municipal waste streams and will never be recycled, filling our already limited landfill space. From the evidence, plastic not only occupy the land but also pollute the land, which is detrimental to society. The final problem is that plastic pollution result in an economical problem. Every year, government spends a lot of money to produce and dispose plastic. It becomes an economic burden to government. Clean Up Australia Ltd (2009) indicates that governments, businesses and community groups spent more than $4,000,000 in cleaning up plastic shopping bag. Wittenberg (2009) observes that shopping bags cost retailers $4 billion in the USA. Besides, plastic are made with petroleum, which is a no renewable natural resource. It also leads to short supply of petroleum.
According to the Nolan ITU (2002), 8.7 plastic of petroleum energy can make car drive 1 kilometer. This information shows that plastic are not only cheap but also consume the no renewable resource. It is harmful to human’s sustainable development. In order to solve those problems, there are many things that human can do. As for citizen, they can reduce the plastic. If they can do it, the less plastic will be producted. But it is hard to do because plastics are linked to our life. The better way is to recycle the plastic. According toTechnoKids Inc. (n.d), “less than 10% plastics produced are recycled.” It means that recycling is no enough. If human can improve it better, the better human can solve the problem. Another way citizen can do is using green bag when they go shopping, which can reduce dependence on plastic bag.
As for government, government can formulate some policies to make plastic bag in charge in supermarket and institutes green chemistry plastic. Wittenberg (2009) claim that Ireland has devised a ‘Plas Tax’, which reduces 90% use of plastic bag. And Taiwanese formulate law to charge plastic bag and utensils. “Plastic product use has dropped by 69%.” From the information, the effect of government is obvious and both of them are good ways to solve the plastic problem. In conclusion, although the plastic problem is very serious, which is not only harmful to human and animals but also cause an economic burden. There are still some valid ways to solve it. If everyone can do their part, the plastic problem may will be solved one day.
1. Clean Up Australia Ltd (2009). ‘Plastic Bags Fact Shee’Retrieved:11/11/2012 From:http://www.cleanup.org.au/PDF/au/cua_plastic_bags_fact_sheet.pdf
2. The UN Environment Programme (2006). The world’s rubbish dump: a tip that stretches from Hawaii to Japan. Retrieved:11/11/2012 From:http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/the-worlds-rubbish-dump-a-tip-that-stretches-from-hawaii-to-japan-778016.html
3. Nolan ITU (2002). Plastic as a Resource. Retrieved:11/11/2012 From:http://www.cleanup.org.au/au/Campaigns/plastic-bag-facts.html
4. Technokids Inc. (n.d).Plastic Pollution.Retrieved:11/11/2012 From:http://www.technokids.com/Store/Intermediate-Projects/TechnoEnvironment/TechnoEnvironment-Page1.aspx
5. Wittenberg, (2009) ‘Environmental dangers of plastic bags’ Retrieved:11/11/2012 From:www.suite101.com