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Topic: Why single-use plastic should be eliminated? Justify.
Interpretation: I need to provide the reasons for my conclusions to the topic (i.e. “single-use plastic”) made in question in detail and paying attention to the focus (i.e. “should be eliminated”)
General statement: In contemporary life, it seems impossible when human lives without using plastic. Although we cannot deny that plastic brings loads of advantages to human under various aspects, the overuse of this material makes it become a nightmare for the world.
Thesis statement: Single-use plastic should be eliminated because of its negative impacts on not only the natural environment but also human health.
One kind of plastics has created throw-away culture is single-use plastics. They are mainly used to manufacture plastic bags, takeaway cup, straws and most of the food containers because of its cheapness and abundance of supply.
Evidence: It witnessed 400 million tons of plastic was come from packaging in 2015 (Figure 1.2 adapted from Geyer, Jambeck, and Law, 2017, as cited in UNEP (2018). SINGLE-USE PLASTICS: A Roadmap for Sustainability, p.4) and accounted for 47% of the plastic waste in the world in the same year (adapted from Geyer, Jambeck, and Law, 2017, as cited in UNEP (2018). SINGLE-USE PLASTICS: A Roadmap for Sustainability, p.5)
Negative impacts on the natural environment:
a. Single-use plastics are harmful to the environment because of its properties
i. Evidence: It is also called disposable plastics because they are mostly made by polystyrene – a type of plastic is unable to recycle and reuse due to the fact that it can contaminate food and make air pollution through manufacturing processes. (Vijayalaxmi, 2013).
It is easy to make a deduction that most of single-use plastics would be thrown to trash bins and sent to landfill immediately after being used and therefore, soil and water are contaminated.
ii. Evidence: According to SPREP, 2008, a plastic bag needs up to 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill. However, this single-use plastic bag will not completely degrade but break into microplastics and continue to destroy the environment.
b. These harmful impacts also affect marine life in serious ways from health problems to extinction
i. Evidence: The cause of the extinction of hundreds of marine animals when they mostly consume plastic while searching for food because either plastic or food are the same according to marine animals (Laura, 2016).
ii. Evidence: The health of marine animals and environment is harmed and polluted by a poisonous chemical combination released from microplastics, according to Aisling, 2016, “a dangerous combination of chemical compounds which are seldom tested for their toxicity”.
Negative impacts on human health:
a. Polystyrene – the plastic material is used to make the single-use plastic products is one of the factors causing cancer risk.
i. Evidence: According to the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), styrene, which is used to made polystyrene, is upgraded from possibly carcinogenic to probably carcinogenic for humans (Aarhus University, 2018)
Limitation: Although it cannot be denied the fact that the material is used to make the single-use plastic food packaging probably causes cancer, governments can enact strict regulations to guarantee that the limits of styrene will not have the negative effect in human health.
b. Not only has it been recognized that marine life can be harmed by consuming microplastic (Aisling, 2016), but also is human actually the end user of this hazardous tiny bits.
Therefore, the poisons found in microplastics could be also harmed human health after human consumes marine animals.
i. Evidence: The fact that seafood is one of the delicious dishes with many people; therefore, if marine creatures possibly consume microplastics, people can also ingest the poisonous chemicals from them. This hypothesis has been proved by a team of scientists from Malaysia and France discovered a total of 36 tiny pieces of plastic in the bodies of 120 fishes with various species. (Ian, 2017)
ii. Evidence: “Microplastics passing through wastewater plants can pick up harmful bacteria, which they can carry with them. If we ingest the plastics, we may ingest the bacteria.” (Mark, 2018)
Although single-use plastic is cheap and convenient for many purposes especially in manufacturing packaging, it cannot be used more than one time.
Single-use plastics cannot be recycled and reused; moreover, their components are mainly poisonous chemicals.
Single-use plastic waste is threatening natural environment by not only expanding landfill and polluting soil as well as water but also causing harm for marine life by its degradation into microplastic.
Moreover, human health is also affected by those tiny bits which are the main factor of cancer risk and many health diseases when consuming the marine animals carrying microplastics.
The only way to handle the problem which single-use plastichas raised that is eliminated it from the world.
United Nations Environment Programme (2018). *Academic source
This publication aims to widen knowledge about plastic including the definition, its product, figures about plastic consumption and the end of plastic lifetime after being use. This also emphasizes that the problems which we are witnessing actually raise from human – us, including the way we manufacture and treat single-use plastic products. Those problems are environmental, health, social and economic impacts which are raised from single-use plastic waste. Moreover, solutions have been also proposed in this publication to handle the matters on plastic by improving waste management system, proposing alternatives, raising public aware and enacting strict regulation.
Relevance: This publication containing some information about single-use plastic supports section 1 of the body of my essay.
Aarhus University. (2018, May 30).
This news aims to inform about the announcement published by IARC from World Health Organization that they have upgraded the warning for Styrene from possibly carcinogenic to probably carcinogenic. They also mentioned the reason why they start working group for the research about styrene which is mainly because they found the risk of a rare form of leukemia in styrene and how dangerous this chemical is to health. Moreover, a number of research of Styrene conducted before the announcement has been referred to in this news too. Besides that, they also provide information about the negative impacts of styrene found in plastic industry.
Relevance: This news supports the fact that single-use plastic material is harmful in mentioned in section 3.a
Mark T., (2018, April 22).
This news emphasizes that although human perceives the negative impacts of plastic on wildlife, especially marine animals, those impacts have not ended but just begun when microplastics has been found. The news also indicated that microplastics mainly come from fertilizers and cosmetics in the form of microbeads. Therefore, microplastics do not only contaminate the soil but also the water and even the air according to the research of Prof. Frank. The health risks from microplastics are also mentioned in this news because they can bring harmful bacteria. As the result of this fact, human health is also affected when ingesting plastic through consuming marine animals.
Relevance: This news supports section 3.b with the fact that microplastics are harmful for human health.
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