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Industry experts expect that by 2050 we will be producing three times as much plastic as we do today; on a volume basis, the WEF sees that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans. Plastic pollution is however not alone as an increasing danger to the world’s seas.
The largest ocean-based source of plastic pollution is discarded fishing gear (including traps and nets), estimated to be up to 90% of plastic debris in some areas. Continental plastic litter enters the ocean largely through storm-water runoff, flowing into watercourses or directly discharged into coastal waters.
In oceans, the plastic waste originates from three main sources, namely, land-based plastics from coastal areas (Jambeck et al., 2015) and a select group of plastics from rivers together with plastics from oceanic sources. The higher density polymers from these sources will sink to the ocean sediments.
Seven of the top polluters—Coca-Cola; PepsiCo; Nestlé; Unilever; Mondelez; Mars; and Colgate-Palmolive—have joined The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, an initiative to change the plastic system.
Plastic use by sector Packaging was the dominant use of primary plastics, with 42 percent of plastics entering the use phase. Building and construction was the second largest sector utilizing 19 percent of the total.
In 2002, Bangladesh became the first country in the world to ban thinner plastic bags, which choked the drainage system during devastating floods. The European Union’s parliament has taken steps to ban plastics (paywall), including bags, straws, plates, cutlery, and cotton-swab sticks by 2021.
On July 1, both Jakarta and Japan banned the use of free plastic bags at checkout counters. They should indeed decrease the number of plastic bags that end up in landfills, clog sewer systems, spoil our landscapes, degrade into secondary microplastic pollution and kill wildlife.
The Disadvantages of Using Plastic Products
Top 10 Plastic Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Plastic Pros||Plastic Cons|
|Less fragile||Land pollution|
|Plastic is hygienic||Visual pollution|
|Variety of different fields of application||Will hurt the poorest among us the most|
|Reduction in food waste||Endangerment of species|
What are the Negatives to Banning Plastic Bags?
Plastics help us protect the environment by reducing waste, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and saving energy at home, at work, and on the road. Plastic insulation, sealants, and other building products are making our homes significantly more energy efficient, while reducing costs for heating and cooling.