How Does Plastic Lead To Global Warming

Plastic is a necessity for modern life, and it has become an efficient and versatile packaging material that is extensively used in our day-to-day activities. Used in everything from production lines, to plastic straws, to plastic bags, its vast reliance in the manufacturing industry has posed a problem. Although plastic is an effective way to package and protect products, it is also contributing to global warming. This article examines the causes and implications of plastic-prompted global warming and highlights potential solutions.

Plastic is created using oil and natural gas, both sources of greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming. When these materials are manufactured and burned to use, they release carbon dioxide, thus increasing the Earth’s average global temperature. This is further exacerbated by the fact that a plastic item can take up to 400 years to break down in a landfill. As the item lingers in the environment, it continues to release gases that further undermine the atmosphere. Additionally, in warmer climates, where temperatures can reach up to 60 degrees Celsius, plastic decomposes more quickly and results in faster atmospheric emissions.

Beyond the greenhouse gases released by using petroleum-based plastics, these materials take up a massive amount of space in landfills and oceans. While reducing the amount of plastic materials we use is important, preventing these items from finding their way into our ecosystems is even more crucial. The improper disposal of plastic waste is a major issue as it is estimated 8 million tons of plastic is entering our oceans each year and this is only getting worse as plastic production continues to rise. The mass amount of plastic in our seas is beginning to cause serious and irreversible changes to the ocean’s biodiversity and ecosystem. This is contributing to global warming in a number of ways. We are beginning to see ocean temperatures rise, coral bleaching, and the death of sea creatures due to the heat. However, all hope is not lost.

Introducing biodegradable plastics has become an important part of combating this issue. While traditional plastics are made with petroleum-based synthetics, biodegradable plastics are made from biological materials such as cornstarch, bacteria and fungi. Not only are these sources of plastic environmentally friendly but they can also be composted after being used. This means they can be rapidly broken down and returned to the earth as compost, rather than becoming waste that continues to contribute to the potent global warming effect. Initiating a global switch to biodegradable plastic is a key part of solving this issue and reducing global warming.

In conclusion, it is clear that plastic is a major contributor to global warming due to its production, decomposition and accumulation both within the environment and our ecosystems. It is important that more effective measures are taken to mitigate the effects of this material, before it is too late. By making the switch to biodegradable materials, we can ensure that plastic waste is being dismantled and returned to the earth swiftly. Making this switch will help to reduce global warming and secure a better future for our planet.

Ernestine Warren is a passionate environmentalist, author, and advocate for the protection of the Earth's precious resources. She has written extensively on the causes and effects of global warming, providing accurate information to help educate people on how to combat this major global problem. With a background in science and biology, Ernestine has the tools to help develop solutions that meet everyone's needs while minimizing environmental damage. Her hope is that each person can do their part for the planet and make a real difference to help reduce climate change.

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