In a video published on August 22, 2018, by the HuffPost’s This New World series, the problem of plastic pollution and its effects on wildlife, and ultimately humans, are depicted. The report explains how the emergence of plastic products, such as medical devices, airbags, bike helmets, airplane parts, and plastic bottles, has changed and improved our lives. The problem, however, is that many plastic products are sold as single-use articles, leading to more waste being created than can be processed by waste management systems. Thus, large amounts of plastics are ending up in the oceans.
Seabirds and other marine animals mistake larger plastic items for food and ingest them. Suggested solutions to the problem include large floating filters designed to capture plastic debris in the ocean and wax worms that feed on plastics. Many countries, including Kenya, France, the UK, as well as the EU, have proposed or passed laws to reduce the use of single-use plastics. Also, ocean plastics fragment and breakdown into smaller pieces, forming microplastics. Microplastics have been detected in food such as fish, salt, beer, and drinking water. However, the health effects of human ingestion are not yet known.
HuffPost (August 22, 2018). “How our addiction to plastic is polluting our food chain.”