Ignoring the impact of plastic pollution would spell doom

Amount of harm that plastic pollution can give humanity revealed by study

If there is a global emergency that needs immediate attention, then this is it. Plastic pollution is what the world needs to address on an immediate basis, considering the magnitude of the threat that looms over the planet.

Going by what the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) warns, there is a lot of proof about the amount of harm that plastics can give humanity and fellow souls that inhabit Planet earth. Research has also pointed out that the plastic pollution threat is close to what climate change poses. Such findings could only be ignored at our peril, no doubt.

And the magnitude of damage that plastic pollution can hand us would need a robust UN treaty, the EIA has pointed out. If one looks deeper at the amount of plastic pollution that have become part of our lives and is slowly gnawing at our health, if comes to the fore that plastic micro particles are everywhere – in the air we breathe, in the food we eat, in the soil that plants depend on, and even in the Arctic snow.

Plastic pollution and the magnitude of damage

Now that isn’t something to be ignored. A UN treaty becomes the need of the hour, and that too with clear cut goals on how to cut down on plastic. It is being reported that unchecked plastic pollution could fill up the seas by 2040 and could be more than the overall weight of all fish in the ocean. Such is the threat that looms large.

In a scenario where the threat is huge, there are nations who have been opposing the idea of a dedicated plastics treaty.  However, more than 100 countries have come forward and spoken for the need for a treaty being proposed at the next UN Environment Assembly in February and March.

Nations stay divided

The United States under the Joe Biden administration has also supported a global agreement, which is a change considering that former President Donald Trump was a staunch opponent. However, it remains to be seen whether Biden would get the support of the Congress on that front because most plastics are made from oil and gas are both produced in the US. Meanwhile, Japan is against such a treaty, while China hasn’t opined on its so far.

It would need a consensus that would lead to an agreement on cutting down on plastic waste and pollution. It needs to be understood by nations that the impact of plastic pollution remains invisible at the moment, but it could be just a matter of time before it could blow over.

It also needs to be understood, and taken into account, that the overproduction of virgin plastics and their lifecycle have been irreversible, and that it has already damaged the world’s fine fabric. Plastic pollution could turn out to be a threat to human civilisation.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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