Urbanization is a sign that a country is rapidly progressing. Resources are abundant, many people have jobs, and everyone has a place they can call home. Countries that are highly urbanized are often deemed as progressive and first-world countries. In these countries, you can expect people to be content with what they have.
In a blunt sense of speaking, a lot of countries aspire to become first-world countries. With many countries slowly developing, it’s not far to see many countries become more progressive. However good as it sounds, urbanization has one major drawback. Since more areas are being prepared for high-rise buildings and settlements, natural areas such as forests, rivers, and lakes are destroyed.
Trees are cut down for timber and to make space for houses. Rivers and lakes end up polluted because of dumping and wasteful practices. These are just some of the harmful effects pollution can do to our environment. Even the seas that some think are far from major cities aren’t safe from the pollution that comes from people. (1)
In some cases, trash makes its way to the seas, where it causes even more damage. Plastics and other materials that cannot be broken down, end up in places where they shouldn’t be. For example, sea turtles often mistake floating plastic wrap as jellyfish and eat them. As sad as it sounds, this is the reality that we are facing right now. To know more about pollution and its effects, here are some fast facts that you should know about:
Microplastics Are Horrible
Aside from the large pieces of trash and plastic, you see floating around, there’s an emerging kind of pollution, and it is worrying. Microplastics, as the name suggests, are plastic wastes on the microscopic level. Although it’s good for some that plastics are getting broken down, microplastics aren’t the desired end product.
One of the terrifying plastic pollution facts is that microplastic is now becoming present in the DNA of some shellfish. Marine life is literally becoming one with plastic waste. If you aren’t afraid of microplastics, then you should be. If we don’t do something about the growing waste around us, we’ll soon see more plastic in the seafood we eat.
Speaking of plastic, the number of plastic waste we’re seeing is beginning to mount. Due to the rising number, there’s a huge island made entirely of floating plastic in the pacific ocean. This island is called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and the worst part is, other patches made out of plastic waste are also forming in other parts of the ocean.
According to studies, the GPGP or the great pacific garbage patch is composed of more than 3.6 trillion pieces of plastic waste. That’s 200 pieces of plastic for every person living on this planet. The sources of this plastic waste come mainly from three continents: North America, South America, and Asia.
Nobody put the plastic in that specific area. According to scientists, the GPGP was formed because of the tidal action that brought the plastic together. With time, the plastic accumulated and is now a fully grown island, just floating in the pacific ocean.
Speaking of plastic waste, plastic waste is just one of many factors in the pollution that kills millions of animals yearly. Oil spills generally contaminate areas and are responsible for depleting all life that comes into contact with it. Seabirds, turtles, and even marine mammals, fall victim to these horrible messes.
If you think that only nature is suffering from our acts, think again. As we also live on this planet, we’re also affected by our wasteful ways. People who live in places with extremely polluted air have a 20% higher risk of developing respiratory diseases such as lung cancer and asthma from people who live in greener areas.
The World is Noticing
Thankfully, a lot of countries all over the world are noticing how bad the situation is. Countries like Kenya and England are already banning the use of single-use plastics in their country. Other countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Colombia, Senegal, South Korea, and New Zealand are also following suit by implementing their laws regarding the use and banning of plastic.
The Little Things Matter
Even if your country is lenient with waste and recycling efforts, doing your part in helping the environment is a big help. Just by changing the way you do things can bring about change that can hopefully inspire other people.
Using alternate forms of energy such as solar power, geothermal, and wind energy help minimize the use of burning fossil fuels that pollute the environment. Recycling waste prevents landfills from piling up, even by turning off the faucet or electricity when not in use can help.
Let’s all do our parts
Pollution and waste are some of the most troubling issues the world is facing today. If left unchecked, we’ll all suffer from our unsustainable ways. By reading the facts mentioned above, we hope that it inspires you to change and help take care of the environment. Remember, we all share the planet we’re living in. Let’s do our part and make the world a healthier place to live.