About the Author
Hello, my name is Gordon and I am a student of Dustin Stevens. I’m passionate about this topic because it saddens me to know that, all around the world, animals are dying because of large corporations and people, in general, polluting the environment.
The Effects of Humankind's Plastic Pollution in the Environment
According to earth.org, by 2050, more plastic will be in the oceans than marine animals. If there is that much plastic, then the oceans will be a desolate environment where nothing can grow or live. This will be a major loss for future generations, as all the discoveries and experiences right now might not be available because of the mistakes of their ancestors. If humanity doesn’t come up with any solutions to change the course of ocean pollution now, many undiscovered resources and animals will be destroyed.
Many plastics are in the ocean’s wildlife, and as those animals eat other animals, the amount of plastic in their bodies increases exponentially, in a process that is known as bioaccumulation. Eventually, some of the animals become our food, and we end up eating it. A study in 2019 on Environmental Pollution “found microplastics in (sic) Chinook salmon from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Iranian Salmon, Sardine, and Killka fish meals contained 4000 to 6000 microplastics per kilogram. (Live Healthy)” This evidence shows that if the world keeps polluting the oceans, the ocean’s fish will have ever-increasing amounts of plastic, which leads to human ingestion of plastic and illness. Plastic also causes these animals to die inhumane deaths, which leads to the next point, many ocean animals die yearly from plastic ingestion.
In the oceans, over a million animals die from plastic pollution yearly. Also, their habitats are negatively impacted; for instance, if a moray eel’s home is destroyed by plastic everywhere, it may be forced out of a coral reef. As NOAA states, plastic can not only “harm or kill an animal when it is ingested or they become entangled,” but damage habitats as well. If this keeps up, even more habitats and fauna will get eradicated. Additionally, animals may suffer from internal bleeding and digestive problems. This is because many plastics are sharp and will tear through an animal’s inner organs. For bigger pieces of plastic, it will also clog up the pathways for waste to come through, leading to indigestion and constipation for the animal. This doesn’t only affect sea creatures, but also terrestrial animals too.
There are high levels of plastic in the world’s wild spaces and the toxicity is high, so if terrestrial animals and humans ingest it, it will lead to serious health problems. Upon ingestion, humans may encounter many issues, such as “reproductive disorders, development dysfunction, behavioural disorders, thyroid problems, low birth weight, diabetes and obesity, asthma, breast and prostate cancers” (Heal Health). These problems result from eating plastic. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride is one of these plastics, and when manufactured, it extrudes a plethora of toxic chemicals, including lead and cadmium. It’s the third-most produced plastic in the world and can leech its way into seafood and drinking water. PVC causes many serious illnesses, leading to life-long health problems, and even death. However, PVC is only one of many plastics that are hurting Mother Nature and humankind too.
Plastic is bad for the environment and humankind as well. First, plastic is toxic for humans and animals, and marine animals are losing their lives because of marine plastic pollution caused by humans. Second, plastic causes habitat loss and even more animal deaths. Third, certain types of plastic are very unhealthy for humans if ingested. If humankind doesn’t act on this major issue or come up with any reliable solutions, then the oceans will be severely polluted.