Plastic Waste: Ecological and Human Health Impacts
Related Subjects:
Environmental Studies
Social Issue:
Target Grade Level(s):
Grade / Year 4
Future Friendly School Values:


Plastic waste is a growing concern and the drivers behind it look set to continue. Although recently there has been a slight decrease in plastic production, this is unlikely to be maintained. Plastic is a highly useful material and its applications are expected to increase as more new products and plastics are developed to meet demands. The increased use and production of plastic in developing and emerging countries is a particular concern, as the sophistication of their waste management infrastructure may not be developing at an appropriate rate to deal with their increasing levels of plastic waste.

Management of waste in the EU has been improving in terms of recycling and energy recovery, but there is still much to be done. At the heart of the problem is one of plastic’s most valued properties: its durability. Combined with the throwaway culture that has grown up around plastic products, this means that we are using materials that are designed to last, but for short-term purposes.

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