Plastics are harmful to the environment for several reasons.
First, the production of plastic involves the use of fossil fuels, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. It's estimated that plastics alone contribute to between 4-8% of overall greenhouse gas emissions.
Second, many plastic products are not biodegradable, meaning they can remain in the environment for hundreds or even thousands of years. As a result, plastic waste can accumulate in landfills and the natural environment, where it can cause pollution and harm wildlife whilst also impacting air, soil and water through the various toxins leaching out into the environment.
Plastic pollution is a significant problem overall, but to focus on the seas - it's estimated that 8 million tons of plastic waste enters the ocean every year.
This plastic waste can be ingested by marine animals, who can suffer from malnutrition, suffocation, and other health problems as a result. In addition, plastic waste in the ocean can break down into smaller particles known as micro-plastics, which can enter the food chain and potentially be consumed by us - I love sushi as well & I often ponder "oh dear lord, please don't make me think I'm also eating a plastic bag simultaneously...
Another issue with plastic is that it can release harmful chemicals into the environment over time. When plastic waste breaks down, it releases toxic chemicals such as phthalates, bisphenol A, and polychlorinated biphenyls, which can be harmful to human health.
Many plastic products contain toxic substances, such as bisphenol A (BPA), which can leach out of the plastic and into the air or water.
These chemicals can be harmful to human health and the environment and are known as endocrine disrupters - more on this in future blogs.
In conclusion, plastics are harmful to the environment because of their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, their non-biodegradability, their potential to cause pollution and harm wildlife, and their potential to release harmful chemicals.
To address the problem of plastic pollution, it is important to reduce the use of plastics, recycle and properly dispose of plastic waste, and support the development and use of sustainable alternatives to plastic. This can help protect the environment and human health, and it can also support a more sustainable future.
And yes, one of the easiest things you can do to start your plastic-free sustainable journey is to check out our Narcissips Reusable Water bottles or reusable coffee cups which can directly help your health, your pocket and the environment!