Plastic is everywhere and where it shouldn’t be. Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing issues globally. Most of the causes of plastic pollution are due to inefficient or non-existent recycling systems and even garbage collection systems. As a result, plastic is visible in cities and different environments throughout Nigeria.
We can see plastics everywhere, littering the land, in the sea, on the beach. And it is causing harm. Plastics harm animals and sea wildlife. Plastics have been found to have blocked the digestive tracts of animals, caused liver damage, and in some cases entanglement and starvation.
A sad reality is that plastic never really breaks down. This is due to the additives in plastic which make them strong, flexible, and durable. A plastic bottle can last for up to 400 years in a marine environment. During this time, the plastic slowly fragments into smaller and smaller pieces. The plastic becomes microscopic and does not go away. It still remains as plastic in the water. These tiny microscopic plastics end up getting into the mouths and stomachs of much marine wildlife.
The solution to all this is simply to reduce the manufacturing of unnecessary single-use plastics. We can’t completely stop the production of plastic, but we can create better biodegradable packaging and products. Also, we need to be more responsible as humans and treat the earth better. We need to effectively manage our garbage collection and recycling processes. There also needs to be regular and targeted sensitization. People should be aware of the harm of plastics to the environment. Pollution affects us all. It destroys the environment and wildlife.