New study shows human activities turning Earth into a ‘plastic planet’

A new study says hundreds of years after the human race have become extinct; the plastic garbage will still prevail creating a geological stratum. The ocean-floor is already covered with long-lived plastics, and more are being rolled out. The scientists suggest that instead of Anthropocene, the human era must be termed as Plasticene.

Humans love plastic, and although the material has proved to be miraculously useful innovation, it is damaging the surface of the earth in a way, which will be very much difficult to reverse.

The new study shows that the face of the earth has altered noticeably in the past 50 years and seems to be leading to an age that can be easily termed as the ‘Age of Plastic’.

Although today the plastics are almost indispensable, 50 to 60 years ago, people were unaware of it. According to the Palaeobiology’s Professor at the University of Leicester’s Department of Geology, Zalasiewicz, the plastics nowadays can be seen almost everywhere.

They are used as wrappings for food, water and milk containers, and cartons of yogurt, eggs and chocolate and even for keeping the drugs sterile. Even most of the clothes that people wear have some amount of plastic in it.

One can find plastic at almost every place on the earth. They can be found on the mountain tops, deep ocean floors and can also be fossilized into the future.

Every three years, billions of non-biodegradable plastic are rolled out. Zalasiewicz says if all the plastic in the world is made into a clingfilm it will be enough to wrap the whole planet.

With the production still continuing, scientists believe that several more layers of plastic will be added to the earth’s surface by the mid of the century. It means that the major marks that humanity will leave behind will not be arts, works of timeless beauty, or impressive monuments but durable plastics that will eventually incorporate into the rocky sediments from oceans and lands.