Plastic pollution a danger to human health, ecosystem – Blueprint Newspapers Limited
Over the years, the use of plastic has become commonplace in human life.
From manufacturing to storage to cooking and other miscellaneous areas, plastics are used in one way or another.
Plastics are found in educational materials, kitchen utensils, on the International Space Station, in medical equipment, and indeed in every job and livelihood on earth.
However, its single-use convenience has posed challenges to the ecosystem, which is now affecting mankind.
According to the United Nations (UN), decades of overuse and an increase in single-use, short-lived plastics have led to a global environmental disaster.
“Up to 12 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the oceans each year and gyres, or so-called ‘plastic islands’, are blooming.
“While most plastics should remain intact for decades or centuries after use, those that erode end up as microplastics, eaten by fish and other marine animals, quickly making their way up the global food chain. .”
It is estimated that 1,000,000 plastic bottles are purchased every minute and 500,000,000,000 plastic bags are used every year.
Around 13,000,000 tons of plastics flow into the ocean every year and 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastics every year.
Scientists say it takes 100 to 500 years or more for plastic to degrade in the environment and even after that there are particles of it, most of which can be harmful.
In addition, 90% of bottled water contains plastic particles, and 83% of tap water also contains plastic particles.
Recognizing the great danger they portend, the United Nations General Assembly made the issue of plastic pollution a priority during the 73rd session.
María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd session, assures that the UN, in collaboration with Member States, UN agencies, civil society groups and the private sector, will support efforts that will help reduce consumption of plastic, raise awareness and support efforts to find global, regional and local solutions.
A major private sector that has remained committed to the fight against plastic pollution is Nestlé, which recognizes that packaging helps protect food and drink, ensures product quality and safety, communicates nutritional information and prevents food waste. .
However, according to her, these essential requirements must not come at the expense of the planet and that is why they are continually developing more sustainable packaging and are committed to reducing packaging waste.
During a Nestlé Media virtual training for journalists on Thursday, environmental sustainability professional Dr Eugene Itua highlighted the growing dangers of plastic pollution and the need to reduce single-use plastic.