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Plastic infographic

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plasticsInfographic

The process of accumulation of plastic products in the environment, adversely affecting wildlife, wildlife and human habitats. There are many types and forms of plastic contamination. Plastic pollution affects the earth’s surface, waterways and oceans. Efforts to reduce plastic pollution are being made in various regions and include attempts to reduce the consumption of plastics and encourage their recycling. The spread of plastic contamination correlates with the low price and durability of plastics, which determines the high level of human use.

In 2018, the year around the world produces about 380 million tons of plastic. From 1950 to 2018, about 6.3 billion tons of plastic were produced, of which about 9% were processed, and 12% were burned. A huge amount of plastic waste inevitably enters the environment. Studies suggest that the bodies of 90% of seabirds contain plastic. Plastic pollution is represented by many forms, including clogging of water bodies (waste disposal in rivers, lakes, seas, oceans), water pollution by plastic particles, plastic nets and so on. A large number of plastic products produced each year are intended for single use: disposable packaging items or products that are usually always thrown away within one year. Often, consumers of different types of plastic products use them once and then discard or replace them. In accordance with the data of the Agency for environmental protection of the United States, in 2011 plastics constituted over 12 % of municipal solid waste. In the 1960s, plastics accounted for less than 1 % of municipal solid waste.lorated plastic can release harmful chemicals into the soil, which can then seep into groundwater or other nearby water sources. This can cause serious harm to those who drink this water.

Landfill areas are constantly littered with many different types of plastics. In these landfills there are many microorganisms that accelerate the biodegradation of plastics. For biodegradable plastics, as they decompose, methane is released, which is a very strong greenhouse gas, making a significant contribution to global warming. Some landfills take the initiative to install devices to capture methane and use it for energy, but most do not have such technologies. Methane is released not only in landfills, but biodegradable plastics are also degraded by falling into the ground, in which case decomposition takes longer. It is one of the components of marine debris. “Backgammon”, plastic granules transported in this form, often through cargo ships, are used to create plastic products. A significant number of backgammon falls into the oceans, and it has been estimated that around the world they make up about 10 % of the beach cover. Plastics in the oceans usually decompose within a year, but not completely, and in the process toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A and polystyrene can enter the water from some plastics. Polystyrene particles and backgammon are the most common types of plastic pollution in the oceans, and in combination with plastic films, bags and food containers make up the majority of ocean debris. In 2012, it was estimated that there are approximately 165 million tons of plastic debris in the World’s oceans. According to 2014 estimates, there are 268,940 tons of plastic on the surface of the ocean, and the total number of individual pieces of plastic debris is 5.25 trillion. Plastic contamination can poison animals, which in turn can adversely affect the supply of food to humans. Plastic contamination has been described as having very harmful effects on large marine mammals and in the book “Introduction to Marine Biology” was called “the most serious threat” to them. Some marine species, such as sea turtles, have been found with a significant proportion of plastics in the stomach. When this occurs, the animal typically starves, because the plastic block the gastrointestinal tract of the animal. Marine mammals can sometimes become entangled in plastic products such as nets, which can harm or kill them.

More than 260 species of animals, including invertebrates, are reported to either accidentally swallow plastic or become entangled in the plastic. When a species gets entangled, its movement is severely restricted, which makes finding food for him is very difficult. Confusion usually leads to death or severe lacerations and ulcers. It has been estimated that more than 400,000 marine mammals die each year as a result of plastic pollution in the oceans. In 2004, it was estimated that seagulls in the North sea had an average of thirty pieces of plastic in their stomachs.

In 2017, it became known that Dr. Jennifer Lavers found out that the beaches of the remote uninhabited island of Henderson in the Pacific ocean are littered with a huge amount of plastic debris, pollution rates reach 671 objects per square meter. This is the largest density of debris out of landfills ever recorded officially. This is due to the fact that the island is located in the center of the ocean current called the South Pacific cycle, and as a result became the focal point for debris floating from South America or dumped from fishing vessels.

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