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Pollution is a presence of a substance that has harmful effects as claimed by Bradford (2018). Also it is something that makes our Earth unhealthy and dirty. Air, land, water are all affected by the pollution. Pollution are composed of pollutants that came from substances such as solid, liquid, gas or any form of energy like sound, radioactivity and heat to the surroundings at a faster rate which can turn into harmful things. There are three major kinds of pollution: land, air, and water. It is a dangerous thing that can affect humanity and all living things. It may also lead to destruction if not prevented. One of the major types of pollution is air pollution. As per Environmental Pollution Center (2017), air pollution is the presence of toxic chemicals and compounds in the air. Most often, it is caused by human activities such as mining, construction, agriculture and others. It is a major concern nowadays, as it has a different toxicological impact on human such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Plastic is one of the main contributors of air pollution as it produce huge toxic impact in the air and soil when it gets mixed. Also, plastics have dangerous components that can lead to more severe harmful diseases.
Aside from air pollution, one of the major types of pollution is the soil or land pollution. According to 4 Waste Removals, land pollution is caused by throwing of wastes such as liquid waste, plastic waste, paper/card waste, tins, metals, ceramic waste, organic waste, recyclable rubbish and hazardous waste that makes the soil polluted. Some of the plastics that the human disposed everyday are being recycled but much of it is ended up at landfills. In landfills, there are many types of plastic wastes that release toxic substances and making the soil contaminated. Normally, it takes about 10-10,000 years for a plastic bag that we used in our everyday life to be decomposed. While the plastic items takes about 1,000 years to decompose and in this years, it will make the land more contaminated because this plastics release different kinds of chemicals as the time goes by. According to The Berkey (2019), water pollution is also one of the major types of pollution and it refers to the contamination of bodies of water such as lake, river, ocean, aquifers and groundwater. It is caused by rapid urban development, improper sewage disposal, using toxic chemicals for plants, dumping of chemical wastes in factories, discharge of radioactive wastes, oil spills and throwing plastic wastes in bodies of water. As per Mambra (2019), almost 4,000,000 plastics are thrown all over the world and Philippines is known as the third largest contributor in water pollution with the estimation of 2.7 million tons of plastics thrown into bodies of water each year. Water Pollution endangers marine life and because of it several of them are near to their extinction. Scattered plastic wastes in ocean suffocate and tangles 44% of seabirds, cetaceans and sea turtles that leads to their death. Almost 1,000,000 seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals died because of consuming plastics as their food. Contaminated seafood who consumes plastic causes problem to immune system, cancer, and birth defects to those people who ingest it. It is considered as a major problem that paves the way for the bioplastics to be experimented.
Mangifera Indica, also known as mango is a type of fruit which is widely cultivated in the tropics. It is one of the most delicious fruit and is popular for being nutritious. Most people prefer ripe mangoes because of its softness, juiciness and sweetness. Unripe mangoes, although not as sweet as ripe mangoes, yield more vitamins that presents lot of benefits. There are over a hundred types of mangoes you can find in Asia especially in India. Also, Southeast Asian countries are known for its immense production of mango and some of its country named it as their national fruit including the Philippines. Philippines are famous for the sweet mangoes it produces especially during its peak season. Large quantities of mangoes are sold at the market while some of the mangoes that are not sold were thrown. As stated by Tepper (2015), as a result, it generates waste that can be classified in two types: the liquid waste and solid waste. In liquid waste it includes the juice and wash while in solid waste it includes the peel and the seed. Since there are lots of mangoes in the Philippines some of it becomes waste and left unused, this lead for some experts and researchers to examine and study mangoes for its other advantages and purpose including the utilization of mango peels as bioplastics.
The peel or skin of a fruit is known for covering and protecting its flesh inside. About 7-24% of total mango weight is its peel. Peels are usually thrown away after being removed, not knowing its benefits. Like the meat inside, the peel is also highly nutritious for it is packed with various nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E, B6 and fiber. Based on Kubala (2018), it is edible although it possesses unpleasant taste and has tough structure. There are also risks in digesting the skin for it contains pesticide residues. Other than consuming it, there are other ways to use the peel like using it as a natural fertilizer or it can even be used as an alternative plastic. Starch, a type of carbohydrate present in all green plants including rice, wheat and potatoes. As noted by The Editors of Encyclopedia (2019), the starch form plants are formed due to the excess glucose generated during the process of photosynthesis while human digest starch in order to produce glucose which is relevant since it is a source of energy for the cells. The starch extracted can be used in different applications and it is very convenient for it is renewable and biodegradable, examples of it are papers and boxes. It can also be used as a thickener which is essential in baked goods. It is also present in sweet fruits including bananas and mangoes that play a big role to be a thickener or make a mold firmer. Pectin is a naturally occurring starch which can be found in different varieties of fruits and vegetables. With pectin, a fruit or vegetable stays firm when unripe, but as it ripen, the pectin slowly breaks down making the fruit or vegetable soft. According to Timberlake (2019), pectin is also used as an essential ingredient to thicken food such as jam for it contains gelling and stabilizing properties. In order to create the gelatinous texture, pectin should be cooked with acid and sugar. It can also be used in medicine for it contains many health benefits like lowering one’s cholesterol.
Plastic is a type of material that is composed of a wide range of semi-synthetic or synthetic organic compounds that can be molded into many objects, which means plastics are malleable. The materials that can deform irreversibly without breaking are the general property. It is usually organic polymers of high molecular mass and sometimes it contains other substances. Derived from the petrochemicals it is usually synthetic. However, an arrangement of variants is created from renewable materials like polylactic acid from corns and cotton linters cellulosic. As stated by Helmenstine (2019), plastics are beneficial to the people, it can be used in many occasions and could be in storing, holding, covering, and even preserving of food and materials. However, plastic also has bad effects. Compilation of plastics in sewages can cause blockage that can lead to floods, burning of plastics will produce harmful gases that can cause air pollution, throwing plastics in bodies of water causes water pollution and when a marine animal accidentally ate it, it can harm them and might die. It could be really dangerous if plastics will be used until the succeeding generations. Claimed by Hsien (2010), Conventional plastics are petroleum based, meaning they are manufactured using non-renewable oil like coal or gas. These kinds of plastic are everywhere and very common and it is part of the everyday lives. Conventional plastics are usually used as carrier bags, packaging materials, and many other applications. Many plastics are used in enormous and expanding range of products. India reportedly that 42% of consumption is used in packaging. Conventional plastics contain harmful chemicals such as BPA (Biphenyl A), which is suspected of causing neurological and behavioral problems in young children and has also been linked to reproductive and immune system cancer.
Plastic bags are used in everyday life as package and storing. It is made of polythene and continues to pollute our environment. According to Biological Diversity Organization (2019), Plastic is non-biodegradable and not capable to decompose, it can be broken down into smaller pieces but still consume toxins and thrown in the oceans which continues to harm marine life this process is called ‘photo-degrade’. Out of 200 plastic bags that people used there is only 1 that they recycled and others ends up in landfills, in streets and in bodies of water. Plastic bags unleashes toxic chemicals that will absorb by the soil and kills animals when they consumes it. Wastes of plastic bags are one of the major problems in the world, countries like China, Bangladesh and India stopped using this. It can also harm the health of a human being by damaging the normal function of hormones in the body. Food wrapper is a thin plastic that people use to secure food. As specified by Weil (2013), it is made of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that has chemicals such as Phthalates that has toxins that disrupts hormones. Some plastic can be used to store water or food but some are not because they contain toxins. Around the world 1,000,000 plastic bottles are used by people each minute. Plastic Wrapper is harmful because it releases small chemicals into stored foods and beverages. Some companies find alternative to use instead of plastic wrappers that people used only once and it is one of the reason why there is a lot of garbage stocked in the landfills. According to United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), a data from 2015 shows that the Philippines weights 6,237,653kg of plastics per day. In short, plastic bottles are used in the everyday life. As noted by Zerdazi (2014), these plastic bottles are used to store liquids such as water, soft drinks, motor oil, cooking oil, medicine, shampoo, milk and ink. However drinking from plastic bottles after they are used can contain harmful bacteria that are why these plastic bottles are single-used only. And as Leblanc (2019) stated this also takes at least 450 years to decompose and some bottles can even take about 1000 years to biodegrade because the plastic bottles are made out of polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE).
As today’s generation becomes aware of this unwelcome issue, one of possible solutions presented are the bioplastics. Bioplastic is either a bio-based material or a biodegradable or features both properties. Bioplastics are considered as bio-based meaning the materials or products used came from the biomass or derived from the plants. Also, it represents as the new plastic substance that could be partly or wholly organic. Bioplastic materials contain properties such as durability, flexibility, glossy, heat resistance and transparency. Bioplastics are considered to be biodegradable as it can be breakdown easily especially in the natural environment without causing harm with the help of time and microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. A material can be considered as a biodegradable when it includes natural products namely fruits and plants. Biodegradable materials like the bioplastic should be treated with care as when it decomposes, the wastes produce harmful gases that might be inhaled and could cause specific diseases. In the process of making biodegradable materials, all the needed substance should be melt down and then the result mixture must be molded into various intended shapes such as utensils, plastic bottles and plastic bags.
According to Omics International (2017), renewable biomass source is where biopolymers are generated from. Bio-based polymers can be made from agricultural spin-off, used plastic bottles and other receptacles using microorganisms. Manufacturing ordinary plastics tends to use high amount of fossil fuels and usually produces more greenhouse gases than the production of bioplastics. Some bioplastics are designed to be biodegradable. These biodegradable bioplastics can break down in either anaerobic or aerobic environments, depending on how they are manufactured. The use of bioplastic has lot of benefits in the environment. Aside from it can store, hold and cover, bioplastic can break down more faster than a conventional plastic. When these plastics absorb water, it only takes a number of weeks for a bioplastic to decompose. Woodford (2019) determined that, when bioplastic breaks down, it does not produce a high amount of carbon dioxide.
As claimed by Ozsoy & Arikan (2015), the bioplastic are one of the most innovative environmental friendly materials developed. It reduced the carbon dioxide that the plastic produced, it also reduces the use non-renewable sources and it is eco-safety. They are also as strong as the traditional plastic and it is really easy to make one. In accordance to Charaya (2018), using a bioplastic will reduce the landfill areas needed and also it has low emission of greenhouse gases. Considered to be the greatest effect of using bioplastic is that it helps to lessen different types of pollution in the ecosystem. It lessens the harmful toxicity and other dangerous impact of the compostable plastics. Also, bioplastics can help reduce the dependency on limited fossil resources which is expected to be more expensive. Narayan (2009), noted that bio-based plastics are made from renewable resources that, it may help the future generation make more durable product. Bio-based plastics help to reduce the greenhouse gasses emissions. It also provides a huge impact on the society to be more productive and hardworking. To make it short, it will not benefit only the people but also the whole ecosystem.
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