Plastic waste might be one of the most common types of waste out there, but it’s also one of the most dangerous. This simple material is hazardous to both marine life and humans, which should classify it as a form of hazardous waste.
However, the production of single-use plastic products continues to grow despite the risks associated with it. Something needs to be done about this issue before it gets even more out of hand. The government needs to stop ignoring this serious threat and find a way to put an end to the growing amount of plastic waste in this world.
The Problem with Plastic
Plastic waste is continuously gathering in bodies of water, harming all aquatic creatures. Turtles, birds, and marine mammals often choke on trash or get entangled in it. It’s estimated that this marine pollution has affected at least 267 animal species around the world.
Not only does this litter harm the environment, but it also poses a huge threat for humans as well. In fact, a lot of the harm that plastic causes goes unseen. Tiny, microscopic plastic pieces are found nearly everywhere because of this waste. These tiny plastic particles are often linked to toxic pollution molecules and other hazardous waste substances.
With bits of plastic everywhere, it affects nearly every living creature on this planet. These hazardous particles line the beaches, get into our faucets, and even end up in seafood. Since sea creatures come into contact with these plastic particles the most, it’s likely that you’ve eaten thousands of tiny plastic pieces each year if you consume seafood. The same is true for people who regularly drink bottled water, which could contain up to 10,000 plastic pieces per liter.
Unfortunately, these unsettling facts just become worse each and every day. The amount of waste taking over our waters is growing rapidly because many people do not see the long-term problems it has on the world. In fact, it’s predicted that number of plastic waste in the ocean will greatly outweigh the number of fish by the year 2050.
What are the Solutions?
Despite so many problems with plastic over the years, plastic production is still predicted to greatly increase. Fossil fuel companies are planning on increasing the world’s plastic production by over 40% in the next ten years. Also, Texas is currently in the process of creating the world’s largest plastic plant yet. So, it seems that large companies have no interest in putting an end to this plastic hazardous waste in the near future.
Scientists have already determined that plastic waste is hazardous, but the world needs to understand it too. Specifically, the government needs to stop ignoring this problem and put an end to this unnecessary harm. The federal government has begun to crack down on some sources of the plastic pollution, such as plastic found in beauty products, but there’s even more they can do to help.
In the past, people fought to put an end to hazardous materials like asbestos insulation and pesticide DDT. Today, plastic is the issue. We need to fight to get rid of as many unnecessary hazardous materials as possible. The Center of Biological Diversity submitted a legal petition to classify certain plastics as hazardous waste, but it has yet to be approved. Their goal is to eventually get the government to ban single-use plastics to keep our environment safe and healthy.
While the government continues to make a decision about the ongoing plastic hazardous waste problem, there are still plenty of things that people and businesses can do to help with the situation. Reducing plastic waste in your everyday life is a great way to start.
Avoid using single-use plastic products in your business to limit the amount of plastic waste that you’re creating. The less people that use these harmful plastic products, the less harm this waste will cause in the future. Instead of using one-time plastic products such as bags, water bottles, and straws, choose the reusable alternatives. Also, make sure to always have recycling bins available to ensure that no reusable materials get wasted.
If you have a serious hazardous waste problem in your own business, it’s best to seek a professional to properly take care of it. Hayward Environmental Consulting provides fast and efficient ways to handle your hazardous waste management needs. Contact us today to get a quote.