According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), more than 353 million tons of plastic was disposed of globally in 2019. Out of this amount of waste, only about 9% is recycled, implying that a significantly larger percentage of it ends up in landfills. This type of plastic is considered single-use since it is neither reused nor recycled. Plastics can take hundreds of years to decompose, making them more dangerous to the environment. This is because they decompose significantly slower than their disposal rate. Luckily, BIOFLEXX is here with fully compostable and eco-friendly bioplastics.
Single-Use Plastics Explained
There are several types of plastics, including single-use plastics and other eco-friendly plastics like compostable and biodegradable plastics. For this article, we will focus on single-use plastics. To learn more about compostable and biodegradable plastics, check out this article.
Single-use plastics are a global issue that keeps getting worse by day. These plastics are made from fossils and “expire” after one-time use. Once used, one has to replace them, meaning more plastic is disposed of and replaced each day. These plastics are deposited in landfills or oceans, harming aqua life. According to OECD, in 2019 about 6.1 million tons of plastic waste ended up in aquatic environment and 1.7 million tons flowed into oceans. The damage caused by such volumes of single-use plastic is overwhelming.
Single-use plastics may include straws, bottles, cutlery, and bags, just to mention a few. It takes years for this type of plastic to break down. But when it does, it turns into smaller pieces of plastic called microplastic which becomes even more environmently dangerous because it multplies in quantity, and is way harder to spot and remove from the eco system. Here is how they harm our planet:
Negative Effects of Single-Use Plastics
Harm on Wildlife
Countless animals die every year due to single-use plastics. Fish, marine mammals, seabirds, and turtles are some animals that often suffer the wrath of single-use plastics. Researchers and scientists often find plastic bags or fishing gear in their stomachs. In fact, about 700 species, including the endangered ones, are significantly affected by single-use plastics.
Hundreds of aquatic species contain microplastics (a result of broken-down plastics) in their bodies. These plastics kill wildlife by piercing sensitive organs or blocking the digestive tract. Animals that have taken plastics often lack appetite or can’t digest food, leading to starvation and death.
According to a report in the World Economic Forum, if we don’t do anything now, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. If this trend continues, the marine life will be irreparably destroyed with coral reefs being the most vulnerable. This also means sea animals, sooner or later, will swallow seawater containing toxic chemicals from single-use plastic degradation. This will significantly reduce their population while contributing to the extinction of some species. Let’s protect our ocean and the habitat by reducing the use of single-use plastics!
We need to act now and embrace compostable bioplastics that offer an excellent alternative solution to the one-time use plastics issue. BIOFLEXX is here with compostable bioproducts that decompose safely in a compost facility. Earth is all we have in common! Join us in the journey to save humanity, wildlife, and our environment.
Single-use plastics degrade over long time, emitting various greenhouse gases. For instance, when such plastics are exposed to sun rays, they produce ethylene and methane, two harmful gases to human and wildlife health. Also, when greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere, they trap more heat. This leads to extreme natural disasters, such as longer drought periods accompanied by wildfires and severe tropical storms due to the increasingly warmer ocean water temperatures.
Greenhouse gases emitted from single-use plastics lifecycle contribute to 3.8% of the total greenhouse gas emissions globally. For this figure to reduce, we need to embrace safer compostable plastic products like compostable bin liners, tableware, and shopping bags at our offices and homes. A change starts with you! Try these BPI-certified, eco-friendly compostable products from BIOFLEXX.
How Can We Mitigate the Risks of Single-Use Plastics?
Single-use plastics are and will continue wreaking havoc on the environment unless we take the necessary actions. Although governments have set up regulations and programs to reduce the use of single-use plastics, these initiatives are not adequate. The rate of plastic waste has been increasing over time, raising environmental concerns. While it may take a long time to fully recover from the damage already caused by single-use plastics, the following are some solutions to get started.
- Use compostable bioproducts because they decompose fully in a controlled compost setting
- Avoid non-recyclable cutlery and straws. As small as they seem, plastic straws feature in the top 11 dangerous single-use plastics as of 2021. Their frequency of use makes them be used in high volumes. Luckily, BIOFLEXX offers compostable straws and cutlery that decompose within 180 days in industrial compost settings, creating valuable organic matter.
- Recycle as much as possible. Companies should recycle and reuse their plastic waste as much as they can. This way, it will reduce the number of plastics disposed of in landfills annually, creating less environmental impact.
Single-use plastics are a global problem that must be addressed to help save humans, plants, animals, and the environment. Failure to do so will lead to the emergence of more deadly diseases and health complications due to the high rate of planet pollution. Also, it will trigger a significant imbalance in the ecosystem, leading to natural disasters and destruction of everything good that nature has given us.
Start Going Green Today!
Take a step ahead of your competitors with BPI-certified, eco-friendly compostable products from BIOFLEXX. We offer bulk customized, high-quality, fully biodegradable products, including shopping bags, gloves, bin liners, and pet waste bags. Also, our products decompose within 6 months and are harmless to the environment. Together let’s save our environment by embracing eco-friendly bioplastics! Contact us for inquiries and a free sample.