Water Pollution due to Plastic

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Imagine a time when our drinking water will be entirely polluted and unsafe to drink. A time when humans will be at war with one another for the last drops of sterile water. A time when our civilization is so desperate to survive that they will have to put their health at stake and drink contaminated water. A time when health problems will intensify to such an immense quantity that we could put an end to our entire population. And that time is not far. At present, we can witness this manifestation occurring in several parts of the world. We can further prevent this from transpiring and have to because water is our primary source of survival. Not for humans, but for plants and animals as well. We drink water on a day-to-day basis, not realizing how fortunate we are to have access to pristine water. Without water, we would cease to exist. At the moment, there are millions of people suffering from a water crisis with impure, polluted water and one of the greatest causes is plastic waste.

Earth is primarily made up of 70 percent water, and only 2.5 percent of it is fresh water. Even then, we merely possess access to a percentage of that. Unfortunately, not everyone is as fortunate to live in a developed country like Canada where you have access to fresh clean water. Research shows that around 2.1 billion people do not have access to fresh clean water. That is equivalent to saying one-fourth of the world's population is in a water crisis. Over 40 percent of our oceans are scattered with plastic waste and it's only been increasing. Every minute, 1 million plastic bottles are purchased and 5 trillion plastic bags are purchased each year. And where does all this go and how does it end up in the ocean? Well, plastic waste ends up in landfills or dumps which are carried away by rivers leading them into the oceans.

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With the vast abundance of plastic waste that has polluted our water, many people have no choice but to consume this water to survive. Water is a necessity and many people around the world do not have access to fresh water and are drinking and cleaning themselves with contaminated water. This delivers severe impacts on human health. We endure the loss of millions of innocent lives each year because of fatal diseases. These diseases include cancer, skin diseases, congenital defects, vision failure, deafness, and indigestion.

Water pollution not only endangers our existence, but it also threatens the existence of our marine animals. We manufacture 300 million tons of plastic each year and out of that, 8 million tons end up in the ocean annually. Studies indicate we have 100 million tons of plastic waste in our oceans and it’s only been increasing extensively affecting our marine ecosystems and eradicating their habitat. Each year, more than a million animals die because of the consumption of plastic debris or entanglement. This incorporates several animals like fish, turtles, dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions, and birds. Many of these animals are found with their stomachs filled with plastic because they mistake plastic as food and ingest it. In the year 2018, a whale was found dead with 88 pounds of plastic waste in its stomach. Plastic can not be broken down easily and lies in their stomachs for years blocking their digestive tracts making it difficult to digest their food. This gradually leads them to starvation and dehydration. The consequences are severe because when animals consume plastic waste, predators that will prey on them will also consume the pollutants impairing their health. This is a continuous cycle that has caused all marine animals to be endangered.

Plastic can take hundreds of thousands of years to decompose. A total of 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic lies on earth and out of that only 9% has been recycled. Plastic is made of chemicals from oil and this toxic waste lies in our oceans polluting our water. When this contaminated water washes up onto land it spreads toxins in our soil, damaging and killing our plants which are a source of food for humans and animals. These plants provide us with fruits and vegetables and if our plants are killed we will lose our food supply.

In conclusion, you may wonder why we should care. As long as we retain clean water, we have nothing to worry about. But it doesn’t take long for our freshwater to be polluted and once this happens, it won’t be easy to reverse. We must manage our plastic waste carefully and try to avoid using plastic as much as possible. Everyone has an equal right to have access to fresh clean water.

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Water Pollution due to Plastic. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/water-pollution-due-to-plastic/
“Water Pollution due to Plastic.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/water-pollution-due-to-plastic/
Water Pollution due to Plastic. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/water-pollution-due-to-plastic/> [Accessed 30 May 2024].
Water Pollution due to Plastic [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2024 May 30]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/water-pollution-due-to-plastic/
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