What are the major causes of plastic pollution?
Plastic Pollution is one of the major contributors towards climate change. While the size of plastic pollutants can vary from big to microscopic, they are found everywhere.
Human activity is the biggest cause of plastic pollution.
Major causes of plastics include:
- Overusing of Single Use Plastic Items - Plastics are inexpensive items. This cost factor alone qualifies plastics to be overused in day to day life. Most plastics produced are used only a single time and discarded due to the ready availability of new plastics. Due to this large amount of plastics are discarded as waste on a daily basis. For example: Plastic Carry Bags, Plastic Disposable plates and glasses, packaging items and many more.
- Plastic Products and Toys - Increasing number of products and toys are selecting plastic to be the major material component. Once damaged, these products or toys are disposed off as trash increasing pile of plastic in waste.
- PET Plastic Bottles - Plastic Bottles are one of the most common plastic pollutants. Packaged drinking water, carbonated soft drinks, packaged drinks are distributed in PET Plastic Bottles. Once they are empty, they are thrown away into trash.
- Plastic Fishing Nets and Equipment - Commercial Fishing nets are made from different grades of plastics. These are used on a large scale by individuals and companies. Because plastic nets are submerged into ocean waters for long periods, they start leaking toxins. Oceans are also full of plastic debris of broken or torn fishing nets along with plastic waste dumped into the oceans.
- Improper Disposal of Plastics - Plastics are durable materials that do not decompose or degrade easily. When thrown away or disposed off along with general waste, they start piling up.
- Failure to Recycle or Up-cycle - As mentioned above, most of the plastics are discarded after single use. Most plastics if used correctly and carefully can be reused several times. It can also be re-purposed for different uses. Not recycling or up-cycling plastic creates unwanted demand for new plastics.