Around the globe, many companies and countries are dependent upon shipping of consumer products. This requires various types and amounts of packaging, therefore creating a significant carbon footprint here on Earth. We only have one Earth which we should protect for our safety as well as land animals and marine life. With environmentally friendly packaging comes reduced waste in our waters and cleaner air for the animals, for us and for the generations that follow.
Many packaging companies use plastic in order to protect items that are shipped from one location to another, which usually ends up in the oceans, forgotten by humanity. However, the victims of these actions are the sealife that must endure these consequences. “The ocean is full of waste because humans have disposed of it carelessly,” said Professor Holmes. (abc.net.au) Unfortunately, this increase in plastic has resulted in a decrease of marine life by putting various species in danger. For instance, many sea turtles often confuse plastic bags that come from packaging or stores with their main source of food, jellyfish. The main issue with sea creatures consuming plastic is it blocks their digestive system, in addition to filling their stomachs until they starve to death. By adopting environmental packaging this problem would reduce, eventually disappearing althoughter. Although plastic to humans may not have a direct impact, toxins released by the packaging terminates many plants in the ocean, including but not limited to, large oxygen sources such as the coral reef. This then has an impact on human life by threatening our source of clean breathable air.
With 70% of the Earth’s oxygen coming from the ocean, places such as the coral reef have a major impact on the human population. Due to the increase in plastic waste many companies are beginning to burn plastic as a solution to terminate the pollution, however “It can release dioxins, furans, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (BCPs) into the atmosphere,” (good.is). These pollutants are breathed in by people as well as animals harming not only them, but contaminating our food sources. This creates a chain reaction. When the air becomes polluted it is either inhaled directly or absorbed by plants which is then fed to animals and land on our plates at the dinner table. Not to mention the impact it creates on our ozone layer, which then raises the temperatures. The impact of this is much larger than it seems on the surface, it starts off by melting the ice glaciers, depriving wildlife of their homes and losing freshwater to the oceans. Followed by the waters beginning to rise into the coasts of cities and homes near the ocean. This of course can all be avoided by taking steps into the right direction of cleaner and safer products, starting with packaging companies.
In conclusion, cleaner air and a reduction in our waste in the water will not only help us live a healthier life, but it will also give a chance for other generations to thrive on our planet. Companies continue negatively contributing to this issue by not using environmentally-friendly packaging. By coming up with better methods for packaging, eco friendly products and plastic, we can begin to diminish our carbon footprint on Earth.
Essay by: Dania Rachael Tamayo
Arizona State University