Have you ever flushed plastic down the toilet? I am sure your answer is Yes. But have you ever wondered what happened to it?
I can bet many people don’t even care about it. So we’ll find out in this article as we explore the terrifying world of what happens if you flush plastic down the toilet.
From the material to where it ends up, I’ll discuss all you need to know before deciding whether or not to flush that plastic again. So be ready to learn something you didn’t know before.
Flushing down plastics can cause a variety of environmental impacts as plastics are not fully degradable.
Plastic does not biodegrade, meaning it will break down into smaller pieces. These particles clog up pipes, waterways, and drains, which causes the world to lose water from running its faucet longer than usual.
As plastics make their way through sewer systems, they cause excessive wear on the mechanical parts of pumps and other equipment used in wastewater treatment plants.
Can You Flush Plastic Down The Toilet?
Like me, most people know they shouldn’t flush things like diapers, paper towels, or sanitary pads down the toilet.
But what about plastic? Can it be flushed, or will it cause a clog? I am sure many people have no idea about it.
Well, the answer is that it depends on the type of plastic. Some plastics are flushable, while others can clog or ruin your toilet’s drain line.
Plastics are made up of different types of polymers, and each type has different physical properties. For example, some types of plastic are designed to be tough and durable.
While others are meant to be flexible and easy to break down.
As a result, some plastics can safely be flushed down the toilet, while others will cause a nasty clog.
So, before you flush that plastic down the drain, ensure you know which type it is. Otherwise, you might end up with a big mess on your hands.
Why You Shouldn’t Flush Plastics
Maybe many of my readers would be thinking, why shouldn’t flush plastics?
As it’s just not a big deal. Well, if you are one of those readers, my friend, let me tell you that they don’t just disappear when you flush plastics down the toilet; they don’t just disappear.
Instead, they end up in our waterways, where they can cause serious harm to both the environment and wildlife.
Here are some of the specific dangers of flushing plastics:
They can clog sewage systems and waterways. Plastic items that aren’t biodegradable can quickly clog up toilets, sewers, and waterways.
This can lead to overflows and backups, contaminating drinking water supplies with harmful bacteria and viruses.
They can cause flooding. When plastics clog sewer systems, they can cause sewage to back up into homes and businesses through toilets, sinks, and even shower drains.
This not only creates a nasty mess—but also poses a severe health hazard. Flooding from backed-up sewage can also lead to mold growth, which can cause respiratory problems.
They can pollute our oceans. Every year, billions of pounds of plastic pollution are in our oceans. This pollution harms marine life, which often mistakes plastic for food or gets entangled.
It also leaches chemicals into the water that can be ingested by marine life and humans who eat seafood.
So yes, friends, If we want to protect our oceans—and ourselves—we must stop flushing plastics down the toilet.
What You Can Do To Help
Just like me, are you willing to play your role in saving the environment from plastic harm? There are several things you can do to reduce plastic pollution:
- Recycle plastic items instead of throwing them away. Check with your local recycling center to see what plastics they accept.
- Reduce your use of single-use plastics like straws, coffee stirrers, and grocery bags. Whenever possible, opt for reusable alternatives instead.
- Educate yourself and others about the dangers of plastic pollution and what we can do to prevent it. Start a conversation with your family and friends about ways to reduce plastic waste.
How Flushing Plastic Items Affects The Environment
Most people don’t think twice about flushing a plastic item down the toilet. But they need to realize that even though that plastic item may disappear, it doesn’t just magically disappear.
Every time you flush a plastic item, you damage our environment severely. Here’s a closer look at how flushing plastic items affects the environment (I am sure it will shock you).
But relax. I will also mention what you can do to help make a difference.
When you flush a plastic item down the toilet, it doesn’t go away. Instead, it goes into our sewage system and eventually reaches our oceans.
Once in our oceans, it harms marine life, who either mistake it for food or become entangled in it.
Every year, millions of people flush plastic items down the toilet. Unfortunately, this has a severe negative impact on the environment.
For one thing, it takes hundreds of years for plastic to degrade in landfills. This means the plastic items you flush today will still be around long after you’re gone.
In addition, flushing plastic also pollutes our waterways. Plastic entering rivers and lakes break into small pieces called microplastics.
These microplastics are then ingested by fish and other wildlife, which can cause health problems.
In some cases, the microplastics can even make their way into our food supply (Now that’s horrible).
An instance of harming marine life, all that plastic pollution also severely impacts our environment as a whole.
For example, did you know that by 2050 there could be more plastic in our oceans than fish? Wow, not believing, right? But it can become a reality.
This is devastating not only for marine life but for humans as well, who rely on the ocean for food.
What You Can Do To Help Make A Difference
Now that you know how flushing plastic items affects the environment, you may wonder what you can do to help make a difference.
The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do. One thing you can do is educate yourself and others about the dangers of flushing plastic items down the toilet.
The more people are aware of the problem, the more likely they will change their behavior.
Another thing you can do is make an effort to avoid using disposable plastic products altogether. Opt for reusable items instead of disposable ones whenever possible.
Also, if you must use disposable plastic products, throw them in the trash instead of flushing them down the toilet.
And last but not least, think twice the next time you’re tempted to flush that plastic wrapper or coffee stirrer. Plastics belong in the trash, not in our toilets.
By making this simple change, you can help protect our environment and keep our waterways clean.
How Should You Dispose Of Plastic Instead?
Now, you might be wondering, with all of the plastic in the world, how should you dispose of plastic instead? After all, we’re constantly warned about the dangers of plastic pollution.
Relax. Here are a few tips on properly disposing of plastic. Firstly Recycle whenever possible, and avoid using single-use plastics; you can also bring your reusable bags when shopping and purchase items made from recycled materials.
As we all know that the problem of plastic pollution is a global problem, and it requires everyone to do their part to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in our landfills and oceans.
There are several things you can do in your everyday life to help reduce the amount of plastic pollution:
1. Reduce your use of single-use plastics: Single-use plastics are those used once and then thrown away, such as straws, coffee stirrers, shopping bags, water bottles, etc.
While it may be convenient to use these items, they create a lot of waste. Try to avoid using single-use plastics as much as possible, or recycle them if you can.
2. Reuse plastic containers for storing food and other household items: This is a great way to reduce the amount of plastic waste you create.
Instead of throwing out those old takeout containers, reuse them to store leftovers or other food items in your kitchen.
3. Recycle plastic bottles and containers: Most communities have a recycling program, so take advantage of it! Recycling allows us to reuse materials instead of sending them to landfill sites.
4. Compost plastic.
Have you needed clarification about how you can do all that things? Well, my buddy, it’s not as complicated as its sounds. So here, take a look at how you can deal with it.
To Reduce Your Use Of Plastic
If you’re looking to reduce your use of plastic, there are a few things you can do:
- Try to avoid using disposable plastic containers and instead opt for reusable ones. If you do use disposable plastic containers, make sure to recycle them.
- Bring your bags to the store instead of using plastic bags.
- Try to purchase items that aren’t wrapped in plastic.
To Recycle Plastic
The best way to recycle plastic is to reuse it yourself. Try to find other ways to use plastic before you recycle it. If you can’t reuse it, then recycle it. But, if you can’t recycle it, throw it away in the trash.
Plastics are made from oil and natural gas. They make many things we use daily, like bottles, containers, packaging, and more.
Nearly all types of plastics can be recycled. However, recycling rates for plastics are low because they are often contaminated with food or other waste.
The first step in recycling plastic is to separate the different types of plastics. Plastics are typically labeled with the numbers 1-7 inside a triangle of arrows.
These numbers correspond to different types of plastics that require different processing methods for recycling.
Once you have sorted your plastics, you can take them to a local recycling center that accepts that type of plastic.
You can also check with your city or county government to see if there is a curbside pick-up program for recyclables.
To Compost Plastic
There are many ways to compost plastic, but the most common and effective method is to shred the plastic into small pieces. And then mix it with other organic matter, such as leaves or grass clippings.
This will help the plastic break down faster and allow beneficial microbes to break it down into usable nutrients for your plants.
Another way to compost plastic is to bury it in a compost pile or bin. This method works best if the plastic is in small pieces or shredded.
The key is to ensure the buried plastic is covered with several inches of organic matter so it can decompose adequately.
If you have access to worms, they can also be used to compost plastic. Add shredded plastic to your worm bin and other food scraps, and let the worms do their work.
So, in the end, If you flush plastic down the toilet, it can cause clogs in your plumbing and damage to your sewage system.
It’s also harmful to the environment, as plastic takes years to break down. So, if you must dispose of plastic, put it in the trash instead of flushing it down the toilet.