• Jade Tate

Plastic Options? No Option.

We all know, many people still use plastic water bottles today. Without thinking, we quickly grab one to go to work or class.

We like to think that we are staying hydrated, and that is one of the most important things. However, people are not stopping and thinking about what to do with the plastic water bottle, after we are finished with it. As of now, there is only four options: throw it into a landfill, incinerate the bottles, attempt to recycle whenever you get the chance, or biodegradability.

Some of these options may seem better or worse to you, but when you research a little bit more about it, all of the options are pretty ugly. First, many of us know that landfilling our plastic is unhealthy for the environment. We dump all of our trash on a piece of land, and it just sits and rots, taking up space, and does not help with the chemical disposal of plastic being used. Then, we have incinerating the plastic bottles. Many medical companies do this because it is unsafe to recycle medical equipment (that uses plastic) used on patients. However, incineration still poses negative health and environmental effects. Third, recycling plastic seems like a good idea. Schools have pretty much implanted the idea of recycling in our heads, but somehow it still seems a bit unaffected. People still do not seem to care about recycling, and it is not at every household and building still. In addition, sometimes there are too many options when throwing away your trash like: recycle, trash, or compost; that you end up throwing it away which one you think is right. Lastly, being biodegradable means that if you throw something on the ground, it can be decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms. That seems to be our solution since people are too lazy to throw it away in recycling, but somehow this option poses problems as well. This solution sometimes does not biodegrade quickly enough with the climate and environmental changes. Since all of these options pose negative health and environmental effects, it is safe to say that people should change to a reusable bottle, not made of plastic.

Overall, these options are not fit for how human beings live today; however, we continue to push for these disposals of water bottles when we should be pushing for reusable bottles that do not use plastic. After researching, it is important to point out the chemicals that plastic exposes, the laziness or confusion of water consumers, and how biodegrading does not always align perfectly with the rate that the environment around us is changing day by day. The options listed above are great options, but not suitable for life as of now.

Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3791860/

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