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Plastic: Environmental Cancer?

A versatile object that comes from the industrial revolution quickly becomes a facilitator of problems in nature.

Written By: Fernando Cafe

Think! Think of your future children. Think of your children's childhood. But, unfortunately, there is something that will remain from generation to generation for years: plastic. Such a product makes up everyday items such as bags, soda straws, glasses, forks, and cutlery. The same plastic continues to contaminate rivers and kill fish, which is why pollution has become uncontrollable. Understanding the current reality of this problem can allow us to combat its harmful impact and seek more answers to build a sustainable future.

Firstly, it is necessary to analyze this impasse's impacts on society. According to data by Jennie Romer, in partnership with the Surfrider Foundation, plastic was ingested by 34% of dead turtles. In addition, its use causes effects on air, rivers, and soil pollution. It also causes the rampant spread of diseases and is widening inequality. Hence, plastic has multiple consequences in nature and our daily lives.

Moreover, it is relevant to emphasize that such polymer is used uncontrollably and unconsciously among the population. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development data, "plastic pollution is growing relentlessly as waste management and recycling fall short." With this logic, consumption expands, but the control on construction and the need to reuse does not grow at the same rate. Brazil, for example, recycles only 25%, while in Japan, 85%. Although the reality of these countries is different, it is undeniable that there is a need to share broader and more integrated forms of recycling with technology collaboration in the area. In parallel, social awareness of this reuse and collaboration through selective collection would be fantastic options to pave the way for environmental preservation and economic development.

Nonetheless, there is a need to advance past the climate crisis and environmental problems currently in our world. Although sustainable and ecological forms of plastic have emerged, its use still grows exponentially, like cancer, which we depend on daily. Building awareness about this problem and acting to mitigate it emerges as a necessary action.

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