By Diana Wambui
In today’s world, the term “sustainability” is often used to describe the need for an activity or product to meet the present and future generations’ environmental, social, and economic requirements without causing harm. However, the sustainability of plastic is a questionable concept due to its production, consumption, and management’s impact on the ecosystem.
Plastic products are popular worldwide, but they also pose risks to the environment. According to studies, nearly 300 million tons of plastic are produced globally every year, with 95% of them being single-use products. This high production rate has led to an increase in plastic waste, which poses a threat to the ecosystem.
Approximately 8 million metric tons of plastic waste ends up in water bodies each year, leading to the extinction of around 800 marine species. Plastic pollution also damages the marine ecosystem, affecting economic aspects such as tourism and fishing.
Another significant issue is that plastics contribute to the emission of global greenhouse gases. In 2019, the plastic industry was responsible for generating 3.4% of emissions. Moreover, plastic emissions are expected to increase in the near future, with the amount set to double from the current level.
Therefore, the sustainability of plastic is a dubious concept, and urgent action is required to address plastic waste management, production, and consumption. If no measures are taken, plastic sustainability will remain a con, and its impact on the ecosystem will continue to worsen.