Daily used items need to be handy and durable. What more could the technology produce than the flapping plastic with its versatile use and advantages. Bottles, containers, or bags, almost anything we could think of as usable, are plastic these days. Disposable or for storage, different grades and manufacture have made the element a rigid raw product. But have we ever wondered about its fate after disposing of it? How long does it take for plastic bottles to decompose? What are the consequences of throwing them away? These are some concerns that we overlook, being busy choosing new plastic things to replace them.
Degraded Rate Of Degradation
Organic materials like plant and animal wastes are naturally biodegradable. Within a week or so, they get decomposed to the soil by the natural bacteria and insect’s reaction. But synthetic materials like plastic are made of polyethylene terephthalate or PET. They are not degradable and stand immune to biological decomposers.
Scientifically the UV rays of the sun are capable of the breakdown of the chemical formula. But it takes around 450 years for the plastic bottles and jars lying in the landfills to vanish completely.
Given the lengthy process, the main concern is the dwindling area of landfills. Once the land gets filled, the next layer is dumped on the top, crushing the older ones out of light. It devoids the older plastic from the photo-decomposition, which is its only solution. Thus, there is an alarming increase in the waste amount of plastic compared to the quantity produced daily.
With the vanishing landfills, the waste ends up in water bodies. Oceans being the largest, get around 3% of the waste’s share! It eventually affects the ecosystem and leads to harm to the animal kingdom.
The urgency for a solution spiked the action for recycling the existing plastic. Even after the rapid efforts, the recycling rate stalled at 20%. Activists and environmentalists concerned for the climate continuously urge to reduce the use of synthetic products and switch to organic materials.