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The Impact of Plastic Use

The problem of plastic pollution is becoming a hot issue in Indonesia. It is an undeniable fact that Indonesia is the second largest contributor to plastic waste in the sea after China. Plastic waste accounts for around 10% of global plastic pollution. In fact, 4 rivers in Indonesia are among the 20 most polluted rivers in the world in terms of plastic waste.
The Impact of Plastic Use

Many plastics are used like plastic bags to carry groceries or daily use, such as glasses, straws, and cutlery. At the same time, plastic is also the second biggest contributor to plastic waste. This is evidence that in Indonesia awareness about recycling and the environmental impact of plastics is still lacking.

The increasingly widespread campaign for the use of non-plastic goods such as the use of cloth bags or recycled bags to carry groceries is a progressive movement that has been carried out by several groups of people. Unfortunately, only a few Indonesian people are aware of the importance of changing their life force to become greener.

All people are also aware that the problem of plastics is a complex thing. The plastic industry offers plastic goods at lower prices. And people also choose to buy it without seeing the impact that occurs if they continue to consume plastic goods.

As an actor who has the authority to make policies, the Indonesian government should also be able to be more assertive with regard to the use of plastics. Moreover, lately Indonesia has received imports of plastic waste from other countries. Even though more than 40 countries and cities around the world have implemented plastic office bans. Even the UN environment program secretariat instructed the ban on the use of plastic bags globally. Plastic waste is controlled by the existence of a paid plastic policy in shopping centers such as Indomare and Alfamart, this method is considered to be very effective in reducing the impact of plastic waste. But the fact is inversely proportional, the policy only applies in a few shopping centers. Thus, the policy is not carried out consistently. The absence of clear and firm legal auspices, as well as the lack of socialization have made this policy not run well. Therefore, the government must pay more attention by being firm about the problem of using plastic bags.

In spite of all this, in responding to the problem of plastic which is getting here increasingly urgent it is returned to yourself. To paraphrase Prof. Antoni Ryan said that it wasn't plastic that was the problem, but how people chose to deal with plastic.

The impact of plastic on the environment is a negative effect that must be borne by nature because of the presence of plastic waste. This impact was very significant. As is known, plastic which began to be used around 50 years ago, has now become an inseparable item in human life. It is estimated that there are 500 million to 1 billion plastic bags used by the world's population in one year. This means there are around 1 million plastic bags per minute. To make this, 12 million barrels of oil are needed per year, and 14 million trees are cut down.

Excessive consumption of plastic also results in a large amount of plastic waste. Because it is not derived from biological compounds, plastics have difficult to degrade properties (non-biodegradable). Plastic is estimated to take 100 to 500 years to decompose (decompose) perfectly. Plastic bag waste can pollute the soil, water, sea, even air. Plastic bags are made from distillation of gas and oil called ethylene. Crude oil, gas and coal are non-renewable natural resources. The more use of palstic means the faster it consumes these natural resources.

To overcome the plastic waste, some parties try to burn it. But the combustion process is not perfect and does not decompose plastic particles perfectly, it will become dioxin in the air. When humans inhale this dioxin, humans will be susceptible to various diseases including cancer, nervous system disorders, hepatitis, liver swelling, and symptoms of depression. Then what should I do? It is indeed not possible to eliminate the use of 100% plastic bags, but the most possible way is to reuse plastic (reuse), reduce the use of plastic (reduce), and recycle (recycle). Finally, government regulations may be needed to reduce the increasing use of plastics. Wahyu Hidayatulloh