More than 8 billion tons of plastic have been produced by humans since 1950. Only 9% of the plastic was recycled and more than half of them went straight to landfill. Plastic pollution can be reduced out to 80% over the next 20 years based on the recent study. This can be achieved if all the solutions were implemented such as waste management or recycling improvement.
Plastic pollution issues in Malaysia
In Malaysia, over 30,000 tonnes of plastic waste have been reportedly dumped into the sea every year. According to Soon, L. W. (2022), Malaysians are still taking the issues lightly and most of consumers are prefer to use plastic bags rather than reusable bags. This indicates that Malaysians would choose convenience rather than consider the impacts of plastic on the environment. In fact, Malaysia is listed in the top 10 countries that release the most plastic into the ocean in 2021. Malaysia have only 8 years left to achieve it goals in the Roadmap Towards Zero Single-use Plastics 2018-2030. However, will we able to achieve it with the current habits and practices of our consumers?
Causes of plastic pollution
Plastic has been known as the most polluting substances in the world. There are several contributors to these issues today. Firstly, plastic is overused. As the population growth rate is increasing, the demand for the plastic is increasing too due to the durability and affordability of the materials. In addition, 40% of the plastic is used just once. Most of them will not be used again as they can be obtained easily. Besides that, peoples prefer to use plastic rather than recycle bag as it more convenience. Some people are still lack of awareness regarding the plastic pollution issues. Hence, it is important to address these issues.
of plastic pollution
The world has faced plastic pollution crisis. Plastic pollution have adversely affected our planet which include:
Impact on Marine Life
Marine life such as turtles may be tangled with the plastic bags. They may also confuse the bags as their foods and consume them and this give impacts to their health.
Harmful to environment
Most plastic will go through incineration process or dumped into the landfills which release toxic chemicals into soil. Besides this, probability of toxins emitted into the air from the incineration process contribute to increasing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
Risk to human health
Plastic is made by using a lot of toxic chemicals. Hence, the use and exposure of plastic is related to human health impact. The process of making or disposing of plastic might be extremely harmful to living things.
to overcome plastic pollution
Our earth can no longer tolerate plastic waste. Therefore, it is crucial to solve the issues together. Here are some tips that we can do to overcome plastic pollution
Plastic bags can be replaced to reusables bags.
when you are going to shop or buy grocery, you can use recycle bag instead of plastics bags. Reusable bags can be use repeatedly.
You can choose to bring your own stainless straw instead of usual drinking straw. Whenever possible, refuse plastics straws or plastics bags.
Take action when you see plastics
Collect them and put into recycling bin whenever applicable and this will help reduce the plastic pollution in drainage and ocean.
Avoid cosmetic products that use microbeads
Some of the cosmetic products consist of microbeads which is actually a type of microplastic.
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