The Dilemma of Plastic

Updated: Apr 3, 2019

The scourge of the seas, and everything else. Do we have any other options?

The ongoing pollution when it comes to disposable plastics is deplorable. Although changes have been put forward to eliminate the use of plastic bags, the use of plastic straws by the beverage industry is still a major issue to face.

“ Of all the waste we generate, plastic bags are perhaps the greatest symbol of our throwaway society" -Zac Goldsmith

Plastic was first made in 1907, by a Belgian national called Leo Hendrik Baekeland who was living in New York State at the time. While searching for a material to protect and coat the wires of electric generators, he combined synthetic phenol and formaldehyde. He noticed that the blend would shape a sticky mass and before long found that it could be blended with wood flour, asbestos and slate residue to heat proof the composite materials. From that point forward, plastic use has soared and our utilization of it is developing at an exponential rate. Plastic has had a positive effect on our reality; we can make things at expenses and amounts that we could never have possessed the capacity to 110 years back. Things have turned out to be lighter, less expensive, and smaller.

In any case, plastic has an additional negative impact, some may consider it a natural catastrophe. Plastic is derived from oil, famous for its negative impacts on the earth and atmosphere. Unrefined petroleum, the reason for oil itself contains an immense number of substances that are profoundly harmful. In 2016 alone, research shows that more than 6,000 tons of oil was spilled into the sea. 40 years back, in 1979, more than 650,000 tons of oil was spilled, which is not a bizarrely high sum for that period. Since the 1970s, more than 6 million tons of oil has been spilled into the sea.

Gathering, refining and transporting the crude materials for plastic also negatively affects the earth. Utilizing those crude materials to make plastic has a further negative impact. There's even theory that the utilization of certain plastics for packaging can leak synthetic compounds into the product, presenting a further hazard to our health.

Finally, after the plastic has been utilized, most of it has been designed to be disposable, therefore we keep running into the natural issues that plastic is known for. Unfortunately, a few of these plastics will degrade in more than 450 years. Spreading the harmful synthetic substances used to make them. Also, a few plastics will not disintegrate, staying unaltered for a great many more years. This represents a hazard to many ecosystems, especially here in Cyprus.

What can you do about this?

The easiest activity is pursuing the tried and true: Reduce, Reuse, Recycles.

Decrease the quantity of plastic produce you buy and use. Rather than buying vegetables that are pre-packed at the store, get them from the unpackaged stalls and abstain from using plastic bags. Purchase a re-useable water bottle. Avoid using disposable products.

Reuse things where you can. Keep using a plastic container purchasing a new one. Use older plastic tubs for storage or for saving food in the fridge, and keep using the same plastic bags where possible.

Finally, reuse all that you can. Set aside the opportunity to sign our petition to take the first step in changing government policy here. Take some time to look at our services page if you are a company or individual that wants to reduce their impact on the environment. Start to do your part for the world.

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