Environmental Damage from Plastic Water Bottles
- 1 Plastic Water Bottle Pollution
- 1.1 So, what can you do about ocean plastic pollution?
Plastic Water Bottle Pollution
The Environmental Impact of Plastic Water Bottles
Bottled water industry has severely harmed the land, air and water around us, while the rest of the world pays the price for our thoughtless over-consumption.
While recycling the bottle helps the environment, producing it has done a great amount of damage to the Environment.
The billions upon billions of tons of plastic waste are choking our oceans, lakes, and rivers and harmful to plants and wildlife.
One of the main reasons that plastic pollution is a major problem is that it doesn’t go away: “plastics are forever.”
Bottling water releases millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually and takes millions of barrels of oil to produce a year’s supply.
The word “plastic” comes from the Greek “plassein,” which means to mold or shape.
Drinking water is healthy, but disposable plastic water bottles contain chemicals that have
been linked to many health issues including asthma and dizziness. Some studies have also found links to increased risks of breast cancer.
Globally we consume 50 billion water bottles every year, of which more then half are consumed by united states.
Because of our intensive use of plastics, plastic trash is now found in essentially every ecosystem on the planet.
In the ocean, plastic pollution impacts corel reefs, sea turtles, seabirds, whales, fish, and countless other marine species and habitats.
Plastic waste that makes its way into the environment can break down due to the photodegradative effect, where UV light from the sun provides the energy for oxygen atoms to incorporate into the polymer of the plastic, and from wind and waves. The plastic then becomes brittle and breaks into smaller pieces. This process takes some time, but it can take even longer on the seafloor because of the lack of sunlight and oxygen, and cooler temperatures. When the plastic fragments over time, microplastics result. Microplastics make up as much as 85 percent of plastic pollution found on shorelines around the world.
Animals often ingest the tiny pieces of plastic and it can build up in their stomachs. Tiny pieces of plastic have been detected in sea creatures that humans like to eat such as fish, shrimp, mussels, and oysters.
So, what can you do about ocean plastic pollution?
Reduce or do away with plastic bags, water bottles, straws, cups, utensils, dry cleaning bags, take-out containers, and any other plastic items.
Use reusable or biodegradable grocery bags, produce bags & bottles.
At present, just 9% of plastic is recycled globally. Recycling helps keep plastics out of the ocean and reduces the amount of “new” plastic in circulation.
Spread the Word
Stay informed on plastic pollution issues and help make others aware of the problem. Tell your friends and family about how they can be part of the solution.
Support Organizations Addressing Plastic Pollution
There are many non-profit organizations working to reduce ocean plastic pollution in a variety of ways …. Oceanic Society, Plastic Pollution Coalition, 5 Gyres, Algalita, Plastic Soup Foundation, and others.