Plastic was first invented as a substitute for ivory. This revolutionary discovery meant that for the first time, the manufacturing process was not limited to natural resources. The invention helped not just human beings, but also animals. Plastic was praised to be the saviour of elephants and turtles.
Plastic today has been integrated into our lives in various forms and is known for its versatility. However, this synthetic material also has left harmful imprints on the environment, animals and perhaps human health.
1)Plastic waste has been found in our oceans since the 1960s. Floating plastic waste, which can survive for thousands of years in water, serves as mini transportation devices for invasive species, disrupting natural habitats.
2) Animals tend to eat plastic because they mistake it for food. They even go as far as feeding it to their young. Ingestion of plastic by animals not only clogs the stomach of the animal but also poisons them with chemicals concentrated in plastic.
3) Chemical components present in plastic are known to cause reproductive abnormalities in animals as well as humans
4) It’s not just animals, the chemicals added to plastic are absorbed by human bodies and alter hormones and can also cause heart disease and diabetes. These toxic chemicals are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us.
5) How does plastic do this? Plastic spoils our groundwater! From the innumerable landfills in the country, toxic chemicals drain and seep into fresh groundwater, lakes and rivers.
How do we change this? The first step is identification. Let’s consciously look at our day and notice each item of plastic we use. Next, let’s find ways to replace these items with items derived from natural, biodegradable sources. Share all your eco-friendly tips and tricks with us in the comments below!