Should Plastic Be Banned?


Image by Tom Fisk via Pexels

By Jiya Sharma, Staff Writer

Plastic is a cluster of materials; either man-made or naturally occurring, that is sculpted when soft and then hardened to maintain their given shape. Every year, humans produce 380 million tons of plastic, which would be around 760 billion pounds of plastic a year, worldwide. There are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans. 

Plastic is commonly used in everyday life in things, such as plastic grocery bags, plastic straws, plastic water bottles, ziplock bags, and soaps in plastic bottles. In a lot of states such as New Jersey and Connecticut, plastic disposable grocery bags are banned. Plastic kills a lot of the life in the oceans and a lot of the terrestrial wildlife. Plastic tends to stay in the environment for years and years on end, threatening and killing wildlife by spreading toxins. Plastic tends to produce chemical pollution and create microplastics. Only around 8% to 9% of all plastic that is produced around the world is recycled. 

There are so many alternatives for plastic in the world like stainless steel, glass, and silicone. Plastic has a very negative impact on the environment. Plastic also contributes to climate change. Most plastics are made from fossil fuels and when manufacturing plastic, there are more than billions of tons of greenhouse gasses. When plastic is burned and disposed of, there are also tons of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere. Plastic is one of the biggest threats to our environment. From creatures getting detangled to digesting them and dying, 100,000 marine animals die every year because of plastic and over a million land animals die every year. Toxic gases such as polychlorinated and mercury are released into the atmosphere because of plastic. 52% of the plastic that is recycled, less than 5% it actually gets recycled and the other 48% ends up in landfills. Plastic can take from 20-500 years to decompose, but all of the plastic that has been produced is still on the Earth in some way, shape, or form because plastic can’t be fully decomposed. 

So in my opinion, yes, plastic should be banned because it’s not just affecting us, it’s affecting our environment, atmosphere and animals. There are so many alternatives to plastic and they should be used. Plastic isn’t doing us any favors and should be banned. So in your opinion, do you think that plastic should be banned?