Plastic bottles are one of the most common things used by us every day. Whether we attend an event, or we have guests over, or we just want to enjoy some liquid, we use tons and tons of plastic bottles. May it be water, juice, soda, or any other drink, there is so much of plastic being used to hold these liquids. And, what do we do after using those bottles? We simply discard them wherever we find it convenient for us to throw them. In this way, more than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills each day! Can you imagine the amount of plastic waste we have collected on our land over the years!? And, what do we bring with so much of discarded plastic – nothing but only harm and damage. Let us give you a detailed view of how what we are saying is true.
There are two ways in which plastic bottles are generally discarded – in a waste dump on the street, or in a water body. What happens to bottles discarded in both ways is very harmful. But, before we get into the story of what happens to the bottles after they are discarded, let us first understand how these plastic bottles are born.
How are plastic bottles made?
Plastic is formed when oil and gas molecules are chemically bonded together to make monomers, which in turn are bonded into long polymer chains to make plastic in the form of millions of pellets. These pellets are then melted and reformed into moulds at manufacturing plants to create the resilient plastic bottles. These bottles are filled with whatever liquid is required, after which they are wrapped, shipped, bought, opened, consumed, and finally discarded after which it takes over a 1000 years to decompose.
How are plastic bottles discarded?
Now, coming back to the earlier topic about what happens to a plastic bottle after it is discarded.
A bottle that is discarded onto a street, or in a dump of waste, ends up in a landfill. This huge dump of waste only expands with each passing day, as more trash comes in and continues to take up space. Other layers of junk coming on top only compress the layers below; and remember, the junk comprises of all sorts of wet and dry waste. What makes it worse is when the rain water flows through the waste, it absorbs the water-soluble compounds to create a harmful stew called leachate, which moves ahead into groundwater, soil, and streams, thus poisoning ecosystems and harming wildlife.
A bottle that is discarded into a stream or any other kind of water body, flows into a river, and finally reaches the ocean. After months of floating around, the bottle is slowly drawn into a massive vortex, where all other kind of trash has been already accumulated over the years. There are five such plastic-filled trash gyres in the world’s seas! Some sea birds and sea animals get entangled into this cloudy plastic soup, leading to death. Others who manage to only chomp on these plastic simply only build up toxins in the food chain – the food chain that ultimately reaches us humans after it goes through stomachs of various kinds of fish and other sea animals.
What should be done?
You can see how plastic discarded the wrong way can only harm life and the planet. So then, what is the right way? Well, the government has put up so many garbage bins along the streets. Why don’t we appreciate that effort and do our bit? If we discard our plastics the right way in the right bins, we can spare the planet from being harmed so cruelly. If we discard plastic the right way, a truck will bring all the sorted plastic into a plant where they can be squeezed and compressed to form a block, which is then shredded into tiny pieces, washed, and melted to form raw materials that can be used again! In this way, used plastic can be further used to form a variety of things that can be used again.
So, help the planet become a better place by discarding your plastics right; just like how EarthyWorthy is helping the world become organic by offering 100% organic cotton T shirts for men in Bangalore – the shirts that are free from chemically made cotton that is harmful, and is instead made with 100% organic and healthy cotton tagged with Pet Bottle Recycled Polyester made labels.