Proper waste management is necessary to protect the environment
Plastic is a synthetic polymer. It is made chemically from fossil fuels or natural gas. Being flexible, corrosion-resistant, durable, and cost-effective, plastic products have become indispensable in people’s daily lives.
Indiscriminate use has spread plastic waste everywhere on Earth, from the bottom of the ocean to Mount Everest, and even in the polar regions. This plastic pollution has already had a long-term negative impact on the earth’s soil, water, atmosphere, wildlife, biodiversity, and human health.
The daily life of people in the present world is unimaginable without plastic. Almost all packaging and bottles are made of plastic. Some of the plastic used is recycled, but most of it ends up as waste.
About 450 million tons of plastic waste is scattered around the world every year. Plastic waste can remain in the environment for up to 400 years and can have harmful effects on organisms and nature.
In developed countries, due to proper waste management, used plastics are less dispersed in the environment. However, Asian countries, including China account for 51 percent of the world’s plastic pollution. Bangladesh is also on the list of top plastic-polluting countries.
Plastic waste (Bisphenol-A, phthalates, bisphenol, organotin, per and poly-fluoroalkyl, and brominated foam retardants, etc.) releases serious harmful chemicals into the environment.
These harmful substances as nano and micro particles enter the animal body through the food cycle and water. These substances contained in micro and nano plastic particles can cause adverse changes in the physiological processes of any organism.
Harmful substances in plastic waste micro and nano particles can disrupt the production of sperm and eggs by changing the hormonal environment in the human body.
Damage to nerve cells can cause various diseases of the brain and nervous system. It can cause various diseases including cancer by changing the genetics of cells. Also, direct contact with plastic products can cause skin diseases.
Modern life is unsustainable without various products made of plastic. Therefore, the initiative to control pollution by banning plastic products is not logical. Polythene bags made of widely used plastic play the biggest role in pollution.
Use of bags made of paper, jute, or natural fibers should be encouraged instead of polythene, if necessary restrictions on the use of polythene may be imposed.
However, there is no alternative to developing proper management for all types of waste, including polythene and other plastic products. Public awareness should be created to avoid littering.
Plastic pollution has emerged as a serious threat to the environment, biodiversity, economy, and public health in the modern world. Policies to control plastic pollution should be formulated and implemented in the country as soon as possible in coordination with the initiatives already taken internationally.