Predominantly, plastic has become one of the essential materials known to humans with a myriad of uses due to its versatile nature. Nowadays, plastic is found in many household items and have become essential to people’s lifestyles. However, plastics have adverse consequences for human life and animal life. Moreover, the sustainability of the environment for the future is highly contingent on the plastic waste disposal systems that are in place. Although the ratio of plastic recycling to improper waste disposal favors the latter, the health and environmental risks associated with improper plastic disposal may be the required motivation that will facilitate innovation of alternatives that would contribute to a more sustainable environment and a healthier lifestyle.
Plastic has proven to affect the water, land, and air environments detrimentally. Therefore, it becomes ironic as to why human beings have made it so essential in daily activities. Statistically, many people are ignorant of the toxic chemicals contained in plastic, thus are oblivious of its adverse effects. Consequently, their oblivion is with good reason since plastic has been socially accepted as a versatile manufacturing material. Additionally, plastic has so many advantages that its demerits seem like a small compromise in comparison. For all the detrimental effects of plastics on the environment, human, and animal health, the plastic industry is one in which the world cannot do without. The plastic industry employs millions of people globally, and due to its availability and versatility, it is accessible by nearly all economic classes, thus eliminating it from the market is nearly impossible.
Therefore, if eliminating it from the ecosystem is impossible, the next best alternative is the only viable course of action. Consider the case of aluminum during its discovery. At the time, aluminum was more precious than gold, and it is speculated that only kings or royalty were permitted to use it. However, when a method of extracting aluminum was discovered, it became so common that even the poor in society hardly used it. Similarly, society values plastic very highly, but the introduction of an alternative could render it obsolete. Even though there are people who are aware of the dangers of plastics to human and animal health, most people persistently use it since they have no viable alternative. However, the introduction of environmentally friendly materials made from a renewable and biodegradable material like wood, which can produce packaging material similar to plastic bags, could be a viable alternative.
Not all plastics have toxic chemicals that can directly detrimentally affect human and animal life. However, the most significant challenge facing plastics is the manner of disposal. If proper plastic waste disposal systems are incorporated in society, it may be possible to mitigate some of its negative effects on the environment, human health, and animal health. Alternatively, scientists could be inspired to innovate a new material that is environmentally friendly and as versatile as plastics. Ideally, necessity is the mother of invention; hence society must not procrastinate solving the plastic issue until a point where its effects on the environment are irreversible. At this time, it may be more prudent to design proper plastic disposal mechanisms as many of its health and environmental hazards stem primarily from poor or inadequate plastic waste disposal. Since plastics may take hundreds of years to decompose, proper waste disposal may be the best immediate action plan to mitigate plastic’s adverse effects while scientists invent an alternative that does not endanger animal life, human health, or the sustainability of the future.