Plastic poses several environmental risks, including leaching chemicals and toxins into surrounding ecosystems, threatening the health of local animal populations and releasing greenhouse gases into the air. The negative effects of plastic vary depending on the type of plastic in the environment, quantity and length of exposure time. Plastics contain compounds, such as PVC and BPA, elements deemed a health risk to humans and animals while the leaching of these compounds into air and waterways poses a health and safety risk for nearby organisms.
Plastics pose problems in terrestrial and aquatic environments. Few biodegrade, and leach harmful chemicals into water and soil upon disposal. Plastics, particularly plastic bags, pose threats to animals in all ecosystems. Species in aquatic environments often mistake the bold, bright colors and rapid movements of plastic bags for prey. They ingest the bags, which then disrupt their digestive system processes. Some animals choke on the bags while others move into the animals' digestive tracts, preventing the absorption of real food, in turn causing starvation and illness or death. Plastic of all kinds accumulates on ocean floors, polluting local environments and introducing countless toxins, jeopardizing the health of animals and plants. The accumulation of plastics also creates economic and aesthetic problems, necessitating costly cleanup efforts and accumulating in unsightly trash piles.Learn More
Hazardous waste is poisonous to life forms and affects the environment by debilitating plants and animals, interrupting their growth cycles and even leading to extinction. By harming the environment, hazardous waste threatens humans. The environmental ramifications of hazardous waste deplete natural resources and can contaminate people as well.Full Answer >
The primary harm from nuclear waste comes from radiation, which can cause health problems in humans and other living organisms and degrade the quality of surrounding air, water and soil. Radioactive waste comes in the form of liquid, solid and gas. The level of radioactivity within nuclear waste varies, as does the time it remains active and capable of causing harm to the environment.Full Answer >
Poaching, the illegal hunting and harvesting of animals, has a devastating effect on both the individual species and on entire ecosystems and local communities. Additionally, continued poaching encourages and supports the black market and organized crime organizations that thrive on victimizing animals.Full Answer >
The Oregon Forest Resources Institute lists minimizing forest floor and soil disturbance, greater efficiency and economy for timber harvesting, and providing full-sun conditions for certain types of species as the advantages of clear cutting. The disadvantages of clear cutting are numerous and include a poor aesthetic, habitat disturbance, and increased stream flow and soil erosion, particularly on slopes.Full Answer >