Does plastic also affect the lithosphere? Plastic is a ubiquitous pollutant, and scientists have observed its effect not just in the air and water but also on land. What is at risk as we continue to live with tons of plastic everywhere we go?
What Are the Effects of Plastic on the Environment?
We generate hundreds of millions of plastic waste annually, and there is no slowing this done. Even the presence of biobased plastics has not been sufficient to bring justice to our environment. Plastics affect the environment as a whole – it causes lithospheric pollution, air pollution, and water pollution.
Many people are already aware of how plastic damages the oceans and seas. Plastic threw into the ocean accidentally (or not) still numbers in the millions of tons. There is rising evidence that our oceans are getting warmer, which is also caused by global warming due to the manufacturing of plastics. The ocean cannot release carbon dioxide as it used to because of the presence of microplastics being consumed by plankton and other tunicates.
What about air pollution? The production process of plastics already produces noxious fumes. The process goes full circle when plastic waste is incinerated or burned in open fields.
Conventional plastic will always produce fumes that harm people and the environment. The process of burning plastics released so many chemicals into the air that it would be hard to trace the personal effects of these toxic gases on human life.
However, the rise in respiratory diseases in many developed nations and developing nations spell doom for humans, as it would be almost impossible to escape the invisible fumes wafting through the air.
An estimated 12% of all waste in municipalities in the world comprises plastic bags, and 40% of all plastic bags produced in the world are already burned. If you sum up all the figures related to plastic, it’s easy to see that even with 40% being incinerated, 60% remain on land and sea. We are producing too much plastic, and we have run out of options for keeping our ecological systems clear of plastic. Plastic is overflowing into our oceans, seas, and it’s filling up our land, too.
How Does Plastic Pollute the Soil?
How does plastic affect the soil?
Plastic causes land pollution, which is the release of toxic chemicals into the soil. Eventually, these toxic chemicals seep down to natural aqua tables used for potable or drinking water. There is no escape from plastic pollution, no matter what distance you place between you and the plastic. Somehow, plastic’s impact will find its way to people because people are the only source of plastic in the world. The BCPs found in plastics threaten the air and natural vegetation and every kind of life exposed to soil and air.
Dioxins from plastic eventually settle on vegetation and crops, and crops do find their way to human homes easily, because well, they are food. Dioxins are called “persistent pollutants,” and they are toxic. These are so toxic that in some parts of the world, women who wish to become mothers avoid plastic things to reduce their intake and inhalation of noxious gases from plastics. Dioxins are also known to cause cancer, and they can cause damage the lungs and cardiovascular system, and they can also trigger cancerous events in the body.
Phthalates, on the other hand, are very well-known hormone disruptors. What hormone disruptors do is disturb the normal action of hormones in the human body or mimic the hormones. Plastic chemicals are known to copy or mimic the effects of the female hormone estrogen. What is terrible about this situation is that as the plastic chemicals build up in the body, so does the risk of extra estrogenic activity that can trigger the acceleration of lethal events, such as the extra-fast production of breast cancer cells.
Plastic is also known to trigger the symptoms of emphysema and asthma. People exposed to plastics have also been reported to have dermatological symptoms such as rashes. Symptoms that affect the head are also common – just inhaling plastic can bring about migraine and headaches.
How Does Pollution Affect the Lithosphere?
How does plastic affect the environment facts:
The majority of the plastic waste that we observe right now on the planet’s surface was manufactured in the past fifteen years. We have been producing plastics far longer than that, so our manufacturer’s rate and subsequent trashing of plastics have increased a hundred-fold or more. The more plastics we have in the environment, the worse it will be for all the nature domains: air, water, and land. Plastic affects all of these areas and disrupts known processes within them. Even the most specialized processes carried out by planktons and other cornerstone species in the ocean are affected by microplastics and nanoplastics. The smaller the plastics get, the more disruptive they can be within a given ecological system.
What Affects the Lithosphere?
How does plastic affect the lithosphere?
The worst thing about the current epoch is that in the next few centuries, the most defining feature of the planet may be that we have a single layer on the lithosphere completely made of plastic. Since we have already produced billions of tons of plastic and we don’t know how to remove the plastic waste, it may just become part of the lithosphere, literally covering the outer crust of the planet.
What is the lithosphere made of?
The lithosphere is the outermost level of Earth, including the crust. This is the layer where we reside and the one that we modify with earth-moving equipment and development. The presence of plastic in human civilization appears to have pushed our era into another epoch similar to another Anthropocene era. Scientists speak of a set or array of signals that point to the emergence of this era. The glacial melting and the warming temperature of the atmosphere and the oceans also give us a clue that the Earth is shifting to another era, and we may have something to do with it.