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Plastic Waste and its Effect

Jessica Contreras - Linares

Arizona State University

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Plastic Waste and its Effect

In our contemporary society, plastic encompasses a majority of our consumer products,

ranging from electronic devices, packaging, and consumer goods. Since its conception, plastic

has become more sustainable, flexible, versatile and inexpensive. As time went on, plastic has

become the main material for major product production. In the last ten years alone, more plastic

has been produced than in the entire last century according to The infographic

presented has been created to help and educate consumers on what they can do to reduce plastic

pollution in our society.

Slowly, our planet has been decaying as the years pass. The major production of plastic,

although it helps our society, is not helping our environment. Most of the plastic we use, ends up

in our oceans and rivers as waste or landfill and also affects our wildlife. In fact, according to the

New York Times, marine life swallows about 7 million tons of plastic per year.

Studies have shown that most plastics are made up of chemicals that are later absorbed by

human bodies. In these chemicals, there are compounds that have been shown to cause

reproductive disorders and alter hormones in animal studies. We are exposed to these chemicals

multiple times throughout the day, whether it’s from our food or drinks, the air we breathe, or

from the products we buy. These chemicals have also been proven to poison and injure the

wildlife that remains.

When talking about the disposal of plastics, if done right, no harm can be done to the

environment. But unfortunately, many people disregard the proper way to dispose of plastics and

do not take into consideration the long term effect of disposing plastics incorrectly. With the

production of plastic increasing by eight percent each year, according to the plastic soup
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foundation, a study by has shown that around fifty percent of plastic is just

used once and then thrown away, for example, the shopping bags you use when grocery

shopping at your local store. And fourteen percent of all litter is made up of beverage containers

and that is not considering the bottle caps and labels.

Many of these issues can be resolved by simply switching from plastic bags at the

grocery market to reusable and inexpensive shopping bags. Another possible solution can be

switching to biodegradable products, this can help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in

our waters and wildlife. Studies have shown that plastic can remain as transportation for invasive

bacteria for over hundreds of years. These products may be a bit more expensive but in the long

run, these products can be what gives our planet a longer life and also helps consumers out by

not having to purchase so many products.

Our planet is decaying rapidly as the years go by. Reducing your use of plastic or

disposing of them correctly can help extend the life of our planet by many years. Scientists have

predicted that our planet has about 30 years left to sustain human life, unless we switch our ways

of using and disposing of plastic. These small actions can lead to major impact, think about this

information next time you are at the store looking for products you may need.

Link to infographic:


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7 Ways To Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution Today. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Ditvoorst, A., Seleky, E., Plastic Soup Foundation, & Plastic Soup Foundation. (2017,

May 17). What to do with plastic waste? Retrieved from

Facts . About Plastic . Help - Plastic Oceans Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Fischer, D. (2018, December 22). The environmental toll of plastics. Retrieved from

Wassener, B. (2011, July 08). Fish Ingesting Plastic Waste, Study Finds. Retrieved from