What if there was no Plastic?
HOW MUCH PLASTIC IS USED?
Plastic was invented in 1907 by Leo Baekeland, in search for a substitute for shellac, a natural electric insulator. As that was the time United States was rapidly electrifying. However, this revolutionary invention is now filling up our environment and killing the marine life and birds to a great extent. Plastic bags are composed of well processed natural gas and oil. Burning, tearing, or throwing away of plastic bags will not lead to its decomposition. 5 trillion plastic bags are created every year and 160,000 are used every second around the world. 6.3 billion tons of plastic has been created since 1950s. Today 4.9 billion tonnes of plastic waste is present on earth. All the plastic waste if gathered and piled up, the mountain formed will be greater than Mount Everest. Plastic waste present on earth has yet to start degrading. This process will start after 700 years and reach its completion in 1000 years.
NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF PLASTIC
Majority of plastic waste ends up in the sea, killing the aquatic life who confuse this indigestible synthetic for food. Hundreds and thousands of marine lives could be saved from plastic ingestion only if plastic is eliminated from our lives. Plastic also has negative impacts on human health such as the compounds and chemicals like BPA, found in plastic might modify hormones or cause other health effects.
HOW MUCH DO WE DEPEND ON PLASTIC?
It doesn’t matter how much you try you still can't make your environment plastic free because it is everywhere and our dependence on it gets worse as the years pass. That means if you stop using plastic bags for groceries and packing your lunch or other accessories, you cannot get rid of plastic. There is a plastic resin lining inside the Aluminium cans, without which drinks could corrode in less than four days. Other than that paper cups also have a thin layer of plastic inside them, that’s how they are able to keep the liquid inside. Without plastic groceries would become quite difficult as you’d be wrapping meat and cheese in paper bags and using cardboard boxes for packing other things. Food preservation would get damage to a great extent as plastic wrapping keeps food fresh longer. So, without plastic a lot of food would only be available seasonally, and a lot of it would be needed to grow locally.
If there is no plastic, organic waste would fill up the landfills, becoming one of the main environmental concerns.
IF THERE WAS NO PLASTIC
No plastic means, no heat and water-resistant wears would exist, clothing being limited to only natural fibres, no fleece jacket, no nylon dresses or acrylic sweaters. Apart from clothing, plastic is also used in adhesives, which are needed for many important items such as furniture, cooking utensils and in our medical technology as well.
If plastic was never invented, then you wouldn’t be using your computer right now as plastic is needed for electrical insulation. The manufacturing of smart phones needs some inexpensive circuits in which plastic layers are used. Plastic can be moulded into smaller and more specific shaped as needed by the electronics. Without plastic, all the progress we have made in electronics would never have happened, we’d be still living in 1870’s, when non-durable and hazardous varnishes and rubbers were used for electric insulations.
It would be very difficult to replace plastic with other substance as it would require many specifications. However, Non-conductivity of plastic is extremely important for whatever the replacement substance would be. However, in the absence of plastic, earth won't be polluted with the plastic water bottles, toothbrushes and other plastic equipment's. The marine species wouldn’t be affected by the plastic waste.