In every industry in the world, over various areas of application, plastics have become one of the most relevant raw materials. They are used in everything from construction pipes and mobile phones to planes, consumer utensils and clothing, as well as being the primary material used for food packaging. Plastics are everywhere these days, and exist in some form in every industry, but when were modern forms of these polymer-derived materials first invented, and why have they become so popular?
The prevalence of plastics has had unintended effects on the environment, as a significant amount of human-caused land and water pollution results from plastic waste while the effects of microplastics have become a global health concern. Despite this, the amount of plastic produced annually is only expected to increase in the future.
In the coastal and riverine regions of Nigeria such as Lagos, ineffective waste control systems and limited recycling procedures mean that many gutters and canals created for water drainage have been filled with plastic waste which impedes water flow, causing floods within communities during rainy seasons.
This study examines the relevance of plastics as a key pillar of the world’s economic and manufacturing climate as well as the concerns and problems associated with what has become one of the most important socio-economic challenges facing the world today. More importantly, it also introduces and discusses potential solutions to these problems.
Keywords: plastic; microplastic; pollution; polymer; recycling.
Author:Oluwawemimo Oluwagbemiga Ogunmoyela