The devastation caused by Plastic Pollution is assuming alarming proportions and California is taking it seriously. It plans to impose a fine and jail term on waiters who offer plastic straws to customers because plastic is bad for the Environment. These items are used only once and discarded and they destroy the ecological balance by affecting landfills, waterways, and oceans.

Daily Mail UK reports that the bill does not propose to ban plastic straws.

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It should, in fact, be treated as a minor step to curb use of these products, and change the attitude of the people. According to the bill, sit-down restaurants will have to stop offering such straws to the customers.

Dangers of plastics

Nature can absorb most human garbage over a period of time, but not plastic which falls into the category of non-biodegradable material. These last forever and the worst part is that these are usually associated with products that have a one-time use. Such throwaway type of items are detrimental to the environment.

Recycling is a solution to solve this problem but it is used for large size items while small items like straws are ignored. The result is that items of this nature end up in the oceans and waterways and break down into smaller, micro-size pieces along the way. These finally merge into the environment, and disturb the ecological balance. Such plastic pollution has an adverse effect on marine life that tend to treat these as edible stuff.

Plastic waste is destroying the corals

The Independent UK adds that plastic pollution is playing havoc with coral reefs all around the world.

New York's Cornell University has conducted detailed studies on this subject and estimated that the number of plastic pieces lodged in the corals of the Asia-Pacific oceans could be in excess of several billion. The litter consists of disposable cups, saucers, straws, carry-bags etcetera which have a serious impact on the health of the corals. They disturb the ecological balance and harm the environment. People must realize that the use of plastic must be avoided at all levels.

According to Professor Drew Harvell, senior author and an ecologist at Cornell, plastic pollution is destroying the corals. This is because such items act as walls and prevent entry of light and oxygen to the corals. Both of these are vital for their survival. When deprived, they fall prey to infection by harmful microbes. Once the disease strikes, it cannot be reversed and the loss is permanent. Incidentally, the double impact of global warming and plastic pollution have a direct effect on the health of the corals.