What is plastic waste?
Plastic trash, also known as plastic pollution, is defined as "the buildup of plastic objects (such as polythene bags and much more) in the ecosystem of the Earth that hurts both humans and wildlife, as well as the habitats of both."
It also refers to the vast amount of plastic that is not recycled and is disposed of in landfills or, in underdeveloped countries, in dump sites that any government does not regulate. Over five million metric tonnes of plastic are used annually in the United Kingdom, yet barely a quarter of that amount is recycled. This is just one example. This statistic should encourage you to switch to paper bags with handles instead of your usual single-use plastic shopping bag.
The remaining three-quarters are released into the environment, where they contribute to the pollution of our oceans and cause damage to our ecology. Most plastic garbage generated in countries with lower levels of development ultimately finds its way into the sea, placing marine species in a very precarious position.
Polythene bags are not all harmful; they are essential for eCommerce as they provide a cheap, cost-effective method to ship and store goods. They are detrimental to the planet when they are not disposed of correctly. Biodegradable poly bags should be taken advantage of. Mr Bags stocks a wide range of polythene bags, including grip seal bags and grey mailing bags. As well as other packaging supplies such as adhesive tape.
Because of its low cost and high resistance to breakage, plastic is used to manufacture a large portion of the products that we put into our bodies (such as plastic bottles and food storage containers). Due to the chemical nature of plastic, however, its degradation is prolonged, taking around 400 years or more on average. This offers a significant obstacle.
Suppose we want to solve the problem of plastic waste and pollution on our planet. In that case, we must reduce plastic consumption and raise awareness about recycling plastic.
We believe that people should switch to paper bags, not only for environmental reasons but because they are equally as strong; at Mr Bags, our bags can hold up to 8kg and come in various colours and sizes.
Why has plastic become a global problem?
Since the latter half of the 20th century, we have relied on plastic as a material that is not only inexpensive but also adaptable and long-lasting.
However, the vast majority of plastic materials take centuries to break down, which means that all of the plastic thrown away in landfills in the UK is still around today. Despite this, we continue producing and consuming more plastic than ever.
That plastic has to go somewhere, and unfortunately, in developing nations, it is frequently dumped carelessly on land or in rivers. Then it eventually makes its way into the ocean, posing a threat to marine life.
The quantity of plastic in our world and the amount still being generated is beyond our management capacity. Because of this, our perspectives and ways of behaving regarding plastic need to shift to guarantee a secure and healthy future for our world.
With the ongoing statistics regarding plastic's sheer harm to our oceans, why not opt for a more eco-friendly option and ditch single-use plastic bags? Paper bags are just as effective at holding goods and come in many colour options and sizes. Check our Mr Bags' vast range of kraft paper bags with handles.
Plastic waste in the ocean
The accumulation of trash in the world's oceans has been identified as a significant worldwide issue, yet, where does all of this trash come from in the first place?
In many instances, particularly in nations that have experienced more significant economic development, plastic garbage is disposed of responsibly and transported to facilities where it is sorted, recycled, or recovered.
On the other hand, most of the plastic garbage produced in underdeveloped nations is often disposed of in open dump sites that are not controlled or tossed into rivers and streams. Plastics from landfills are susceptible to being swept into neighbouring rivers and other bodies of water by the wind, where they are eventually taken out to sea.
Another concern is the quantity of plastic developed countries in Europe, the United States, and Japan send to less developed countries. Because recycling requirements in underdeveloped countries are significantly lower than those established in wealthy countries, releasing plastics into the environment is responsible for severe environmental damage.
How much plastic goes into the ocean?
About eight million metric tonnes of plastic waste is dumped into the world's oceans yearly. Some analysts believe this number might double by 2025, while others believe that by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in our waters.
Ocean currents eventually drag trash into the centre of the ocean, culminating in the formation of enormous gyres of plastic debris (the largest is in the North Pacific, between Hawaii and California, which contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic).
This tugging motion in the gyre eventually leads plastic objects to break down into several smaller fragments, contaminating the ecosystem and making it easier for marine animals to consume plastic garbage.