The plastic bag is an easy solution for carrying things like vegetables, groceries, clothes, food and many more needs. We dispose of home waste in plastic bags.
We carry and eat food taken in plastic containers and drink water from plastic bottles because plastic is the cheaper option to buy. So, it is an indisputable fact that plastic has become an integral part of our life.
You must be wondering how plastic is affecting our life directly. Maybe not ours, but certainly on animals around us. Many stray animals like cows, pigs, dogs and other animals feed on the waste food stuffed in plastic covers we throw into dustbins. At times unable to retrieve food, they gulp the plastic cover too.
We, humans, don’t eat plastic covers directly, but the imminent danger is looming over our lives in the form of Microplastics. These are fragments of plastic less than 5 mm (0.20 in) in length, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)] and the European Chemicals Agency. These microplastics pollute and create health hazards by entering naturally from many sources, like cosmetics, clothing, food packaging, and industrial processes.
Every plastic item we use, from baby-feeding milk bottles to water bottles we drink, every plastic item pushes microplastics into our bodies. One study showed that 93% of the bottled water from 11 different brands had microplastic contamination. Per litre, researchers found an average of 325 microplastic particles.
You must be thinking about how microplastics get generated and whether can we stop them. Every plastic item, from toothbrushes to vehicle tyres, during manufacturing generates microplastics. They are stuck to products we buy and unnoticedly get consumed while brushing our teeth. Microplastic pollution from wear and tear on roads also enters the food chain as they might settle on the food we eat or tea we drink on the roadside on highways, where microplastic contamination is more.
We can’t avoid plastic in this world. From Milk packets to Electronic gadgets. From balloons to Diapers bags everything uses plastic for making or packing. Plastic is not a natural product created by humans. It can’t be degraded for decades. It causes many health issues, like cancer as they enter our body as microplastics.
Hot food that we carry rushing to our offices in plastic boxes creates microplastics. The feeding bottle which we sterilize and give to babies creates microplastics. The risk of microplastics is real. We must try to avoid plastic most of the time, if not we might end up with plastic bodies.
The onus is on us, on how we mitigate this health hazard.