Our overuse of plastic products and careless disposal have created many harmful impacts on the environment. As materials scientist Kim Pickering points out: “Let’s face it: it is people who are doing the littering, not the plastics themselves.”
Plastic can also have negative impacts on human health, for example, if toxins leach from plastic packaging into our food.
These resources explain some of the harmful impacts plastics have on the environment and potentially on human health.
- Oceans of rubbish
- Human impacts on marine environments
- How harmful are microplastics?
- Rethinking plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand – the report
- Plastic bag on a coral reef
- Plastic debris on the beach
- Discarded plastic bottle
- Silage bales in plastic
- Beads washing up from the Rena
- Human litter in marine habitats
- Impacts of plastic in the ocean
Image: Richard Whitcombe, 123RF Ltd