In a world where convenience often reigns supreme, it’s time to confront a harsh reality— plastic, once hailed as a modern marvel, has become an ever-encroaching curse upon humanity. AEG Cleaning Service invites you to delve into the depths of this pressing issue as we unravel the intricate web of plastic pollution, its far-reaching consequences, and the urgent need for collective action.
When you think of it, we are surrounded by plastic everywhere. Just look around you! What do you see? Plastic, plastic and more plastic. Your keyboard, milk bottle, wire to your charger, TV, phone, and the list are endless. All plastic, right! It’s impossible not to be around plastic.
But where did it come from? And what exactly is plastic? The word itself originally meant “pliable and easily shaped”. 1st, people used natural materials with plastic-like properties such as gum, shellac, ivory, and tortoiseshell. However, killing elephants or turtles to get long-lasting appliances was not a solution. So, in 1869, John Hyatt invented 1st synthetic polymer, which was considered a replacement for ivory. Happy days, no more killing elephants for their tusks.
But it was not until 1907 when Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland pioneered 1st synthetic plastic that was mass-produced. He called it Bakelite. The boom and demand for plastic were huge, as you can only imagine. But with time, people’s views have changed as the environmental problems caused by the production and waste of plastic came to light.
Plastic Pollution Facts
Now, I’m going to list some of the PLASTIC facts you may already know, some that might be eye-opening and some that might be a little bit too much to swallow. So, read at your own risk! China is the largest producer of plastic, with 60 mln tones, followed by the USA at 38 mln, Germany at 14.5 mln.
The USA produces the most plastic waste, on average 105.3 kg per capita per year, whereas the UK stands at 98.66 kg. A huge number and even bigger worry that we waste so much plastic ☹. The reports from The Ocean Conservancy show that China, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia dump more plastic in the sea than all other countries combined.
It’s estimated that annually the world produces 381 mln tones of plastic waste, whereas the UK contributes 1.7 mln to this number. It is said that plastic waste will double by 2034. Annual greenhouse gas emissions will grow to 1.34 billion tonnes by 2030, but by 2050 plastic could emit 56 billion tonnes.
The Marine Conservancy has predicted that a foam plastic cup’s estimated decomposition will take 50 years, a disposable nappy will take 450 years, a plastic beverage holder will take 400 years, and a fishing line will take 600 years to degrade.It is predicted that in the next 25 years ecosystem in seas and oceans may collapse, and the main factor of this prediction are plastic, ocean acidification and ocean pollution. There are some microbial species that are capable of degrading plastics, and some are useful for the disposal of certain classes of plastic, e.g., the Ecuadorian fungus Pestalotiopsis can consume polyurethane.
- 10% of discarded waste is plastic.
- 1 mln plastic bags are thrown away every minute, and more than 500 billion plastic bags are being used globally every year.
- 1 in 3 fish caught contains plastic.
As you can see, these facts are only the tip of the iceberg. The numbers are staggering and scary. But the worst part is that even though plastic is causing so much damage to the environment, its role in our lives is still critical. We depend on our phones, laptops, medical equipment etc., which are all made of plastic. However, thanks to modern technology, industries are looking into alternatives to plastic, and let’s hope it will happen sooner rather than later.
At AEG Cleaning Services we want to provide you with the best cleaning services from which the environment can benefit. We want to reduce our carbon footprint for a much greener and more sustainable planet. All our products are made in-house and their organic nature allows us to shine your home in the safest way possible free from harsh chemical use. Why not give us a call today to see and let us help you improve your home, office or if you are a landlord and Airbnb, we are here to help.