The discovery of plastics revolutionized our society by introducing an enormous and expanding range of products and have displaced many traditional materials—such as wood, stone, horn and bone, leather, paper, metal, glass and ceramic—in most of their former uses. We use plastic in an innumerable ways in our daily life such as food storage containers, water and milk bottles, packaging and carry bags, pipes, electronic items, frames, electric wiring, toys, furniture, cloths, injection syringes and other several thousands of items.
But plastic is one of the major toxic pollutants today. Plastic is a non- biodegradable substance, composed of toxic chemicals, plastic pollutes
earth, air and water. Plastic causes serious damage to environment both during its production and disposal. The major chemicals that go into the making of plastic as ethylene oxide, benzene and xylenes are highly toxic and pose serious threat to living beings of all species on earth. These chemicals can cause an array of maladies ranging from birth defects to cancer, damage the nervous system and the immune system and also adversely affect the blood and the kidneys. Also many toxic gases are emitted during recycling of plastic.
More than a 100 million tonnes of plastic is produced world-wide each year. Disposal of plastic through recycling, burning, or landfilling is a myth because it does not undergo bacterial decomposition. Once plastic is produced, the harm is done once and for all. Plastic wastes clog the drains and thus hit especially urban sewage systems. The plastic wastes being dumped into rivers, streams and seas contaminate the water, soil, marine life and also the very air we breathe. Choked drains provide excellent breeding grounds for
disease-causing mosquitoes besides causing flooding during the monsoons
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