Saving Earth from Threat of Plastics
Posted on: January 22, 2021.

‘Plasticity’ of the Crisis

Earth is facing the worst environmental crisis—thanks to industrial “progress” in the name of “packaging plastics”—with almost all of its natural resources choked to asphyxiation.

Plastic used for packaging is of a “single use” kind, and is either not eligible for recycling in many places, or difficult to recycle, a problem that some of the largest countries in the world are facing.

The consequence of rapid human population increase is economic growth, major consumerism-focused booms, and lack of widespread recycling programs, which inflict terrible damage on ecological systems.

Common forms of plastic are made from the raw material produced from petroleum, new facilities for which are being invested in—since 2010 till date, over USD 180 billion has been invested by fossil fuel companies.

While many western countries are not in favor of single-use plastics, the global plastics production is set to increase by 40% owing to the operations of the USD-180-billion-worth new facilities.

The “near permanent pollution of the earth” is the risk that increasing plastic pollution brings, warn experts—consequence of efforts to create and meet demand in burgeoning markets for fast and cheap goods.

With fossil fuels being the feed stock for around 99% of plastics, at precisely a time when the world is realizing that we must use far less of it, the scale of plastic production is irreversibly expanding.

Ecological Harm due to Plastics

  • Plastics are produced from non-renewable fossil fuels already being depleted at an alarming rate in the form of gasoline and other industrial oil-based lubricants.
  • Fragile ecosystems where, unfortunately, oil is often found, is damaged by the industrial generation of greenhouse gases—majorly carbon dioxide.
  • Enormous harm to the environment comes from drilling, transport, and burning of fossil fuels to manufacture plastics, all of which emit massive amounts of carbon dioxide.
  • Plastics are the worst form of waste—they are almost entirely non-biodegradable. Consumeristic human obsession for cheap, disposable products has resulted in a serious environmental crisis.
  • Plastics too endure the weather process and continue to break into smaller pieces, but they are never fully return to dust, remaining hard and detrimental for everything they come into contact with.
  • Currently, the oceans are choked with 5 trillion pieces of plastics, the vast majority of which are less than 5 mm in size, with worser repercussions—the digestive tracts of marine animals get clogged up with plastic debris, while ocean currents disperse the rest of the debris.
  • A massive stretch of plastic debris floating in the Pacific Ocean—now twice the size of the U.S. State of Texas—has been named the Great Pacific Garbage Patch visible to the naked eye from outer space.
  • In just half a century, plastic—introduced in the 1950s—that only breaks down into smaller sizes, has accumulated to an irreversible volume, and is causing “progressive damage” to Nature.
  • In the last decade, supermarkets alone have used over a million tons of packaging plastics annually, of a type that simply cannot be reused or recycled.
  • Of the total volume of plastic packaging generated globally, 40% ends up in landfill and 46% in fragile ecosystems—only 14% is recycled.
  • It is estimated that, by the year 2050 AD, “there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans”.

Environmentally harmless alternatives for plastics

  • Plans to introduce a mushroom-based mycelium packaging which can be buried in garden soil where it degrades biologically within weeks and doubles as a natural fertilizer.
  • Mushroom spores and minimal energy or resources facilitates and promotes the almost infinite growth of mycelium—a clean and sustainable alternative to producing plastics.
  • Globalizing, by 2025, the ‘circular economy environment’—recycling, reusing, or composting waste into earth-friendly materials such as organic fertilizers for agriculture—which is, by intention and design, restorative or regenerative.


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