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Decoding the Plastic Bottle Problem

Plastic pollution, especially due to single use plastics such as polythene bags, cutlery, and bottles is a catastrophe to human health and to the planet in general—we all are quite acquainted with this fact. But seldom do we know the exact reasons why these things are harmful. Across our blog journey, we have gone deep into plastic pollution or plastic bottle pollution, it’s strange and almost eerie consequences, and what those entitle for our and the planet’s future. Here’s one another. This time we dig deep into why plastic bottles are so harmful for the environment, straight and to the point. This is a compilation of its notoriety across its entire life cycle.

Production Phase

Plastic bottles surprisingly are a menace to all natural resources we have been depending on for ages, the resources on which our entire civilizations are hinged on. Production of plastic water bottles consumes around 17 million barrels of oil each year. To put that into perspective, that oil amount is sufficient to fill one million cars a year.

A fun to do tip— Take a plastic bottle and fill it 1/4th with water! Yes, that’s the amount of oil that went into manufacturing that bottle.

It takes about 3 times the amount of water to make a water plastic bottle than it takes to completely fill it. And, it requires about 2000 times more energy to churn up a bottle of water than actually to provide tap water. Amazing, isn’t it?

Consumption Status

With every passing second, a million plastic water bottles are opened globally. Each day, just in the US alone, 60 million plastic bottles are thrown away or carelessly dumped that ends up in landfills or as litter, severely polluting the environment for years. Note—plastic is actually not biodegradable.

Taken the annual perspective, 35 billion empty bottles are dumped, among which a mere 10 percent are recycled. It’s a scenario that’s simply devastating until you realize. Just throwing away ‘one’ harmless bottle on the streets is sure not so ‘harmless’ anymore, right?

The After-use Scenario

As much as 80 percent of the bottles thrown worldwide end up in landfills where it takes eons to decompose, this amounts to hundreds of millions of tons in weight. Research says that discarded plastic bottles leach harmful toxins into the soil (We already have a blog on it) that can cause a wide variety of health issues, even if we for a moment ignore the fact that the dumping land almost becomes unfit for productive usage.

For oceans, the impact simply can’t be measured in words. Billions of tons of plastic are coagulating oceans and all life in it for years now. Plastic constitutes about 90 percent of all the surface pollutants on the oceans—approximately 40,000 pieces of plastic per square mile! By 2050, studies estimate that plastic trash in oceans would outweigh the entire marine life; not to mention that the giant plastic trash’s slow poisoning would make the oceans water gradually unfit for life thriving.

What can we do?

As we have emphasized again and again, being aware is not the answer to combat plastic pollution or plastic bottle pollution against the environment. We have blown past that time now. It’s time to take actions. Let go off the habit to use plastic items, use alternatives, practice in cooperating with public sector offices to recycle those disposable plastics you have, and lastly do your bit in inspiring others to do all these—spread the message as fast as you can. If you are concerned about spending a few extra bucks, just stop for a moment and think which is more important to you. Is it money or the life of this planet? Time to take a firm stand against the global extinction catalyst—plastic.


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