The Advent of ‘Plastic Man’

The Advent of ‘Plastic Man’

Jun 26, 2024, 1:55 AM
Chita Dela Cruz

Chita Dela Cruz


"Who cares about litter?" you might ask. Well, I care.

While not the gravest issue facing society, litter is a concern, especially in a country known for its strong religious traditions and respect for God’s gifts.

We’ve been blessed with lush green pastures and fertile lands, yet we show our gratitude by discarding litter at every opportunity.

Litter serves as an "indicator" of how a community feels about itself.

A litter-free community takes pride in itself, and the individuals within it have self-respect. Addressing litter, especially plastic waste, has become increasingly important.

There was a time when food was wrapped in biodegradable banana leaves.

Saturated With Plastic

Now, almost everything comes in plastic, which takes hundreds of years to degrade. Our planet is becoming saturated with plastic.

Much of this plastic ends up in our oceans, traveling on currents and landing on remote beaches like Midway in the Central Pacific.

Midway is home to two million albatrosses, now a threatened species. Adult birds mistake plastic for food and feed it to their young.

Every examined bird has plastic in its stomach, from fishing lines and plastic bags to toothbrushes and disposable lighters. Many birds either choke or starve because their stomachs are full of plastic.

The problem worsens as plastic bags break down into smaller particles, attracting ocean toxins. These toxic particles are eaten by small fish, which are then eaten by bigger fish, eventually ending up on our dinner tables. Plastic has finally entered our food chain.

Careless Disposal

Humanity has evolved from the Stone Age through the Iron and Bronze Ages to the modern era of mobile phones and new inventions. It would be a sad culmination of this evolutionary process if it led to the "Age of the Plastic Man."

Solutions to the plastic waste problem are still in progress and will take hundreds, if not thousands, of years. If we care about our health and future generations, we must ensure we do not compound the problem through careless waste disposal.

For years, we've been advised to recycle, avoid plastic products, and clean up our communities.

As long as our streets remain littered, it’s clear the message isn't getting through. We must all become aware of the consequences of our actions and take steps to stem this rising tide.

All of us can do something by being vigilant and educating others.

If we want to win this war, we need to act now!

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