The Impact of Plastic Waste on the Environment and Human He alth

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The Impact of Plastic Waste on the Environment and Human He alth
The Impact of Plastic Waste on the Environment and Human He alth

Not only the environment, the impact of plastic waste can also affect he alth conditions. This needs to be considered because human life cannot be separated from the use of plastic in it. Therefore, we need the right way to reduce the bad impact caused by plastic waste

Plastic materials can be easily found in various products, ranging from food and beverage packaging, shopping bags, to household appliances. When they are no longer used, these plastic products can accumulate and become trash everywhere.

The Impact of Plastic Waste on the Environment and Human He alth - Alodokter

Various studies reveal that the use of plastic and plastic waste is increasing every year. In fact, there is research that states that Indonesia is one of the largest plastic waste producing countries in the world.

Compared to other types of waste, the process of decomposing plastic waste takes a much longer process because it requires the help of UV radiation. In fact, the decomposition of plastic waste can take up to 20–500 years.

If not decomposed properly, the plastic decomposition process actually produces small particles or microplastics, chemical compounds, and heavy metals that are more dangerous and toxic. Therefore, steps are needed to reduce the impact of plastic waste that can occur.

The Impact of Plastic Waste on the Environment

Plastic waste that is disposed of carelessly has the potential to damage and pollute the environment. Plastic waste is also one of the biggest sources of environmental pollution worldwide.

If left alone, the impact of plastic waste can be dangerous for ecosystems and survival on Earth. The following are some of the effects:

water pollution

Plastic waste, whether its form is still intact or has been crushed into small particles, can cause water pollution.

This can happen because plastic carries chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls and pesticides, which can contaminate water and poison and damage the habitats of living things that live in the vicinity.

When consumed by marine animals, this poison can also enter the human body if the marine animals are processed and consumed.

soil pollution

The next impact of plastic waste is soil pollution. Microplastic particles, heavy metals, and chemical substances resulting from the plastic decomposition process can enter the soil layer and stick to the plants embedded in it, such as vegetables and fruits.

When these vegetables and fruits are consumed by humans, the risk of various types of diseases can also increase. Contamination of plastic waste can also make soil conditions infertile.

Air pollution

The process of burning plastic waste that is done openly can cause air pollution. This is caused by the presence of microplastic particles, heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, as well as polychlorinated biphenyls that are released and pollute the air.

In addition to the various pollutions above, the problem of plastic waste also often exacerbates global warming and climate change around the world.

The Impact of Plastic Waste on Human He alth

Not only has a negative impact on the environment, various chemical compounds contained in plastic waste can also cause various he alth problems, such as:


Various toxic chemical compounds derived from plastic can enter the human body through the air, food, and drinks contaminated with plastic waste.

This plastic waste can produce carcinogenic substances that can trigger cancer, such as lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer.

Organ damage

Exposure to heavy metals and microplastics can cause skin damage and trigger various disorders in the body, such as nervous disorders, digestive problems, respiratory disorders, and endocrine gland disorders, such as thyroid disease.

In addition, some toxic substances from plastic waste or processed plastic waste can also cause kidney and liver function disorders.

Disorders of fetal and child growth

Exposure to toxic substances from plastic waste can also be dangerous for pregnant women, fetuses, and children. Several studies have shown that exposure to waste and toxic substances can increase the risk of developing developmental disorders in fetuses and children

In addition, pregnant women who are too often exposed to chemical compounds from plastic waste are also at high risk of miscarriage, premature birth, or congenital diseases of the fetus.

In addition, contamination of plastic materials, such as phthalates and bisphenol A, in utensils and eating utensils and children's toys also needs to be considered, because they can be toxic and pose a risk of affecting children's growth and development.

How to Reduce the Impact of Plastic Waste

To prevent and reduce the production of plastic waste, you can try the following tips:

  • Use eating and drinking utensils made of other materials, such as glass or ceramics.
  • Reduce the consumption or use of plastic drinking bottles, including buying packaged drinks. Instead, you can bring your own water bottle to bring drinking water.
  • Use straws made of stainless steel or more environmentally friendly paper.
  • Choose packaged products or eating and drinking utensils made of biodegradable plastic or labeled as biodegradable and do not contain bisphenol A or BPA
  • Bring and use your own shopping bag when shopping to reduce the use of plastic bags.

By applying the various tips above, you are participating in reducing the impact of plastic waste, so that environmental sustainability can be maintained and you are also protected from he alth problems that can occur.

If you still have questions about the impact of plastic waste or experience certain he alth problems due to frequent exposure to plastic waste, don't hesitate to consult a doctor, OK.

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