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How Does Single-Use Plastic Affect Health? Find Out

Published On Apr 19, 2023 10:05 AM By InsuranceDekho

Despite the fact that zesty drinks and beverages are sold in single-use plastic bottles, there is no denying that the toxic chemicals in them are harming both human health and the environment. Read on to find out the impact of single-use plastic pollution on human health. 

Besides plastic bottles, shopping bags, plastic forks and knives, coffee cup lids, straws, and containers are some of the single-use plastic products. The majority of the things made of single-use plastic wind up in landfills and water bodies, resulting in environmental pollution. But what exactly are single-use plastics? Let’s find out! 

Impact of single use plastic on health

What Is Single-Use Plastic? 

Single-use plastics are a type of disposable plastic that is used only once and then discarded or recycled. Most food items, like water, carbonated drinks, wafers, and beverages, are packed and sold in plastic bags and containers. About 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year, and 50% of it is disposable. Only 10-13% of plastic items are recycled across the world. This is because petroleum-based disposable plastics are much harder to recycle. Fresh virgin materials and chemicals are added to them to recycle these single-use plastics. 

Impact of Single-Use Plastic Pollution on Human Health 

Here are some reasons why single-use plastics are bad for human health. 

  • Air Pollution: Plastic waste that ends up in the environment can break down into microplastics, which are small particles that can be inhaled. These particles may contain toxic chemicals, resulting in respiratory problems in humans. 
  • Contamination of Food and Water: Single-use plastic products like water bottles, food packaging, and plastic cutlery can leach harmful chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and others into food and beverages. When these chemicals are ingested in the human body, they can cause reproductive problems, hormonal imbalances, and sometimes critical illnesses like cancer. 
  • Exposure to Plastic Production Workers: Workers may be exposed to hazardous chemicals that can lead to health issues like cancer, reproductive difficulties, and respiratory problems while making single-use plastic products.
  • Water Pollution:  Single-use plastic products are a major contributor to marine pollution. When plastic waste ends up in the ocean, it can harm marine life and disrupt ecosystems. When humans consume seafood contaminated with plastic, they can be exposed to toxic chemicals.
  • Hormonal Disruption: Many chemicals found in single-use plastics, such as BPA and phthalates, are known endocrine disruptors. These chemicals can affect the hormone level in the body, which can result in a variety of health issues.

Tips to Prevent From the Harmful Effects of Single-Use Plastics 

There is no denying that single-use plastics are a big threat to human health. But you can prevent yourself from being impacted by the chemicals and toxic substances present in single-use plastics. Here are some tips to save yourself from the harmful effects of single-use plastics. 

  • Use reusable materials like stainless steel food containers, insulated water bottles, and wooden or crystal cutleries. 
  • Buy ceramics or pottery containers since they don't leach poisons or other contaminants into food. 
  • Instead of using plastic containers and polythenes to store your fruits and vegetables, use natural fibre cloth bags. 
  • Plastic releases more chemicals when heated. Therefore, avoid heating food in plastic containers. 
  • Boil, cook, and bake food items in platinum silicon utensils which are primarily made of sand and food-grade silicon. 

Wrap Up 

In conclusion, single-use plastics pollute the environment and also impact human health. As plastic materials thrown into oceans can affect both marine animals and humans, avoid throwing them away near water bodies. This can be a small step taken by you towards creating a healthy and friendly environment to live in for everyone. Also, don’t forget to follow the prevention tips to keep yourself safe from harmful single-use plastics. 

Also Read: 

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This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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