Plastic is widely used because it is durable, cheap, and lightweight. Even though it offers great benefits, it causes pollution in every phase of its lifecycle. Research shows that plastic is responsible for the emission of global greenhouse gases.
Despite this, the production of plastic is increasing, and people are still using it. So, what is the solution to prevent plastic pollution? Before you implement tips for reducing plastic pollution, it is best to understand how plastic affects the environment.
Hence, you need to answer questions such as, how does plastic contribute to global warming? Or can plastic cause air pollution? With this, you will create strict approaches for you and your family members to reduce plastic pollution.
So, How Does Plastic Contribute to Global Warming?
Plastic emits greenhouse gases at the four stages of its lifecycle. The two powerful gases released, methane and ethylene, cause climate changes.
Here are four stages of plastic existence and how they contribute to global warming
1. Plastic extraction and transportation
When people hear about plastic, they think about how it will end up in the water bodies. They forget about its lifecycle and how it affects climate change. The lifecycle of plastic begins with oil and gas extraction and transportation.
It is good to note that plastic comes from fossil fuels. Because of the massive amount of energy required to extract and distill oil, plastic production emits greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming.
Besides, fossil fuel extraction requires deforestation and clearing of the surrounding, which impacts climate change. How about the transportation of fossil fuel to the plastic manufacturing company? Transporting raw materials via trucks, pipelines, or trains contributes to carbon emissions, thus, affecting the climate.
A lot of greenhouse gas emissions come from the manufacturing stage. This process requires a lot of energy to power plants that transform the raw materials into ready-to sell-plastic. With this, a lot of carbon dioxide gas will be emitted, causing climate changes.
3. Waste management
Most of the plastics are used for packaging. Thus, you are likely to dispose them after a single use. Have you ever thought about where the plastic waste ends after discarding it in the recycling bin?
Few plastic wastes are recycled, and the rest are dumped into the environment. When the dumped wastes are exposed to solar radiation, it generates greenhouse gas emissions, which can cause global warming.
Besides, you may decide to burn the plastic waste to prevent it from landing in the water bodies. But burning the trash in an open fire contributes to serious air pollutants. Black carbon is one of the pollutants released when you burn plastic. This pollutant is responsible for visible smog in the cities.
Also read: How to melt plastics without fumes
4. Plastic remains in the environment
When plastic waste is not managed properly, it enters nature as water and land pollution. The plastic waste that gets into the ocean contributes to global warming.
For instance, plastic degrades when exposed to sunlight and water, releasing methane and ethylene. The worst part about this is that when plastic breaks into smaller particles, the emission of greenhouse gases increases, thus causing climate change.
As you are aware, plastic is a problem for the environment. But there are tips you can implement to reduce emissions in every stage of the plastic cycle.
For instance, you can consider bio-based feedstock in the manufacturing stage. Also, using zero-carbon sources of energy such as solar can reduce the overall emission by half.
FAQs on How Plastic Contribute To Global Warming
What is the solution to plastic pollution?
The production of plastic has become an integral part of our daily lives. Although this product offers many benefits, it can threaten your life by causing climate change.
Imagine living in an area with very high temperatures. It can cause drought or skin issues. Hence, it is best to understand how to minimize plastic pollution.
Here are ways to minimize the effects of greenhouse emission
1. Consider plastic alternatives such as biodegradable materials
2. Increase the recycling rate to extend the lifecycle of the plastic
3. Reduce demand for plastic
4. Increase awareness on the impact of plastic on climate change
What are the effects of global warming?
Have you ever thought about the causes of global warming? Plastic is a major contributor to climate change. This is because billions of plastic are being manufactured and used each day. This leads to the emission of greenhouse gases, which affects the environment. Global warming can affect your health as well as the environment.
For instance, rising temperatures can increase the ground-level ozone from cars and industries. And this is linked to high hospital admission rates and deaths. Also, it can worsen the health of those suffering from pulmonary diseases.
Besides, global warming contributes to acidic oceans, higher sea levels, more severe weather, and air pollution. In this case, it is vital to be mindful of the products you use. For instance, you can consider biodegradable packaging materials instead of plastic.
How does plastic affect the atmosphere?
As you are aware, plastic is made from fossil fuels. And the extraction of oil and natural gas from the ground causes toxic emissions such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene, and particulate matter.
Besides, burning plastic waste releases harmful substances such as heavy metals and organic pollutants. And when toxic pollutants enter the water bodies, they can affect marine life. Also, when you breathe contaminated air, you are likely to have issues with the respiratory system and heart.
So, why don’t you conserve the environment by minimizing plastic use?
Global warming is a threat to the environment. It can worsen the air quality, which can contribute to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
And because plastic contributes to the issue of climate change, it is good to curb its usage. So, how does plastic contribute to global warming?
From the extraction of raw materials to manufacturing and plastic waste management, there will be emissions of greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change.