PlasticPollution and Sustainability
ENVIRONMENTALSUSTAINABILITY In500 words please describe acontroversial environmental issue.Advocate for and against uses and solutions.Recommended structure: Introduction, Facts, Problem, Solutions,Reality Check. Use Arial 10pt single-spaced fonts. Cite sources inthe footnotes in 5pt fonts. You must use this Word template.Documents deviating from those instructions will be penalized by-20%.
Overthe decades, organizations have shown a preference for plasticmaterial packaging. As demand increased in tandem with globalpopulation rises, the amount disposed of by end users hasskyrocketed. The synthetic polymers are generated from key toxicpollutants known to cause great environmental damage.1The pollution entails the collection of non-biodegradable materialsin a given area resulting in adverse impacts on nearby naturalecosystems. The discourse highlights plastics as toxic compounds withthe potential to kill off flora and fauna as well as human beings.
Thematerials include any group of manmade or natural organic substanceswhich are easily molded when soft and solidify into hardened productsfor a host of human uses.2Resinoids, resins, cellulose derivatives, polymers, proteins, andcasein materials are used to generate Lucite, Vinylite, and Bakelite.The chemistry of the polymers provides that these are large moleculesmade up of repetitive lattices called monomers. There are two largegroups of polymers, thermosets, and thermoplastics. The term plasticrefers to the numerous synthetic products resulting from theapplication of chemistry.
Ahazardous property of the polymer is that it has great buoyancy andmore so, non-biodegradable.3Most of the waterways cutting across countries all drain to oceansand seas. Regions with high population indices are dependent on suchwaterways for numerous purposes but due to human carelessness, havebecome a conduit for dumping garbage into seas and oceans. Thebuoyancy and inability to decompose quickly pose risks not only onland but in large water bodies as well.
Onland, plastic wastes are in most cases poorly handled and in mostcases pollute rivers and streams where they are easily dumped intolarge water bodies.4The natural environment has no capacity to break the complex bondscommon in plastics. It is estimated that it takes over 400 years forthe materials to fully degenerate to earth friendly compounds.5This makes them indestructible and by extension, harms soils, plantlife, and natural wildlife such as marine life.
Thesun’s UV rays are able to break down the polymers throughphoto-degradation into small fragments.6At the seas, wave and sand action also break down the substancescalled mermaid tears. These mall fragments together with otherpollutants from plastic nurdles, which scientists have proven absorbhazardous chemicals from seas and oceans. Marine life creatures whichare part of man’s food chain normally ingest these particlestransferring these poisons to man.7
Asolution to the plastics pollution issue can only be found throughconcerted efforts by all players in human society. This requiresembracing far-reaching behavioral changes in modern day human societyby the individual, the economic sectors, government, andinternational organizations.8By instituting laws, creating awareness through education andphilosophical standpoints it is possible to influence on individualchoices that will combat plastic pollution at the source. The mostpotent solution to date remains in fully abiding by the zero wasteconcepts through recycling off all waste of this nature.
TheUN has made a declaration of war on plastics. The core aim is tocompletely eliminate all main sources of plastics pollution frommicro-polymers common in cosmetics and compelling organizations toembrace single use disposable materials. Scientists have projectedthat if this controversial issue is not arrested, there will be moreplastic waste in the seas that there are fish.
doSul, J. A. I., & Costa, M. F. (2014). The present and future ofmicroplastic pollution in the marine environment. EnvironmentalPollution, 185,352-364.
Lambert,S., Sinclair, C., & Boxall, A. (2014). Occurrence, degradation,and effect of polymer-based materials in the environment. In Reviewsof Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Volume 227 (pp.1-53). New York City, NY: Springer International Publishing.
Liboiron,M. (2016). Redefining pollution and action: The matter of plastics.Journalof Material Culture, 21(1),87-110.
Morritt,D., Stefanoudis, P. V., Pearce, D., Crimmen, O. A., & Clark, P.F. (2014). Plastic in the Thames: a river runs through it. MarinePollution Bulletin, 78(1),196-200.
Xanthos,D., & Walker, T. R. (2017). International policies to reduceplastic marine pollution from single-use plastics (plastic bags andmicrobeads): A review. MarinePollution Bulletin.
1 do Sul & Costa, 2014: 359
2 Lambert, Sinclair, & Boxall, 2014: 9
3 Liboiron, 2016: 89
4 Morritt, Stefanoudis, Pearce, Crimmen, & Clark, 2014: 197
5 Liboiron, 2016: 92
6 Liboiron, 2016: 93
7 Morritt et al. 2014: 198
8 Xanthos & Walker, 2017: 3