Yes, plastic is a cheap material that can be formed into anything that might be made, strong, and durable. Plastics themselves are indeed useful for human life, even mentioned since 1950's we have produced around 8.3 billion metric tons of goods.
However, the consequences of 'success' produce billions of tonnes of these items which are directly proportional to the losses that have a major impact on life on earth, where we as humans are in them. As per 2017, approximately 79 percent of the plastic produced during the past 70 years has been disposed of, either to landfills or to the general environment and unfortunately only nine percent is recycled with the rest even burned. The condition of many plastic debris itself is even mentioned by scientists, as an experiment on a global scale that is not controlled.
One concrete example of the increasingly severe plastic pollution, we can see from the presence of plastic waste in the sea. It is said, with more than eight million tons of plastic waste entering the oceans every year, and this makes it estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in 2050, and eventually it can cause 99 percent of all seabirds on the planet to consume some between them.
As of 2017 alone, it is estimated that the sea now contains around 51 trillion microplastic particles, which are 500 times more than stars in our galaxy. Sadly, this plastic waste was found as many as 300 billion pieces in the Arctic which were previously pure and remote islands in the Pacific, and found also on Henderson Island which is an uninhabited island and is believed to have the highest concentration of plastic pollution in the world.
Then is the condition of the plastic waste so severe that it becomes a dangerous situation? The answer is clearly dangerous. Some toxic plastics that can disrupt hormones are important for health, and plastic itself acts like a magnet for various poisons and other pollutants that humans spill into nature.
For the life of marine biota, for example, for animals such as turtles, plastic bags in water can look like jellyfish, for seagulls they can mistakenly think that plastic waste floating on the surface can be seen as a tasty snack rather than a plankton that should be eaten.
Consuming all the plastic waste, it means that these animals have swallowed all poisons that cannot be digested as a substitute for food. Of course this can adversely affect the health of the animals themselves. Unfortunately, it has been said so far that marine waste damages more than 600 species. Damage to these marine species is considered the beginning of the sixth mass extinction on Earth. Terrible isn't it?
Why do we have to worry about plastic pollution at sea? Know that killing sea creatures is bad for humans. Plastics that are accidentally consumed by marine biota go into animal digestion and indirectly, we ourselves eat back plastic waste that is thrown into the sea when consuming these marine animals. So like a danger to animals, the plastic can enter the body's tissues and cause potentially dangerous consequences.
In addition, another negative impact is air pollution. The mechanism is where plastic microparticles from cosmetics and microfiber from synthetic clothing are washed and dissolved into the sewage system. Besides ending up in the sea, as explained by Professor Frank Kelly, an environmental health expert from King's College London, who said that this long-term plastic waste can be carried away by the wind. Other particles are trapped in the waste that is used to fertilize the agricultural fields and then dry up and are carried away and blown by the wind. After it dries, it may be taken and blown by the wind.