How plastics affect lives/ecosystem
You may want to ask how plastic bags affect the ecosystem.
Most times when plastic bags are broken down and their particles find their way into the water bodies beneath the ground, they get consumed or inhaled by aquatic animals; and because chemicals used for making plastic bags are not healthy for biological systems, it can lead to the death of the animals. It doesn’t just end with the animals. There is a biological term known as the food chain, whereby the smaller or weaker animals are consumed by bigger or stronger animals. Imagine, for instance, how little sea fish are consumed by the bigger fish, and the bigger fish are caught by a fisherman for food, on and on goes the cycle. Since plastic waste fragments do not get decomposed by nature or digested by a biological system, they might find their way into your stomach through the fish food chain, and they can later lead to serious health problems for you.
Interventions and Way out
So, what’s the way out? Embrace the 3R: reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce the use of plastics by going for the paper or other decomposable materials wherever it is available. Reuse that plastic bag or bottles as much as you can. Recycle every plastic that gets into your hand by separating them for recycling. Lagos State recently launched the blue box initiative which aimed at facilitating the separation of wastes into two forms, recyclables, and non-recyclables. Plastics and its family fall under the recyclables, food waste and others easily decomposable waste fall under non-recyclables. Organizations such as Optigreen are also working tirelessly to sensitize communities about this and other environmentally sustainable practices to complement the efforts of the government. As organizations around the world work towards alternatives to plastic bags usage. We also should endeavor to appropriately manage the ones in use by proper disposal. So, when next you see a pure water nylon/plastic bag lying carelessly in your environment, remember the dangers and take proper action.
Written by Oluwabukola Olajide