Plastics pose a threat to the environment because the breakdown of different types of plastic leads to the release of various toxic chemicals. Plastic debris prior to decomposition also poses a variety of risks to wildlife and ecosystems.Know More
Chemist Katsuhiko Saido of Nihon University in Japan led a team of researchers to discover that plastic breaks down quickly in the ocean, releasing chemicals such as bisphenol A, or BPA, and styrene trimer. Styrene trimer is potentially carcinogenic, while BPA interferes with animal endocrine systems, disrupting reproductive function. This same breakdown may also occur in landfills where chemicals potentially leech into groundwater supplies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 93 percent of people exhibit discernible levels of bisphenol A in urine. In the world's waterways, these toxins extend beyond the water's surface. Many of these toxic molecules are heavier than water, meaning they slowly sink and disperse throughout the water column. Warm, tropical waters are more susceptible to this breakdown, as breakdown occurs more quickly in warmer temperatures.
Aside from chemical byproducts, intact plastics pose an environmental threat. Many animals accidentally ingest plastic products, sometimes with fatal results. Plastic bags and soda rings also entangle unlucky wildlife, sometimes preventing the mouth from opening or causing suffocation. Invasive species may also hitch rides on floating plastic debris in water.Learn more about Human Impact
Overpopulation affects the environment by putting pressure on resources such as water, food and energy. Pollution, soil degradation, deforestation and loss of biodiversity are further effects of overpopulation on the environment.Full Answer >
People should care about the environment because a healthy environment is vital for survival. Without air or clean water, humans, animals and plants cannot live.Full Answer >
Tourism is harming the environment through activities that support it, such as the construction of tourism facilities, like resorts, hotels and golf courses, and general infrastructure like roads and airports. Its negative impacts gradually destroy resources in the environment. It also depletes natural resources including water and local resources.Full Answer >
The major drawback of industrial mining is the damage mining operations cause to the environment. Removal of large areas of topsoil can destroy habitats, and the chemicals used in mining operations can leach into the groundwater and pollute the area. Air pollution and radioactive pollution are other possible downsides.Full Answer >