Water Pollution

Start Free Trial

Do you feel that packaging (plastic, syrofoam etc) is a problem or could it be a solution to the issue of water pollution?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

It is hard to imagine packaging as part of a solution for water pollution.  Instead, packaging is much more likely to be part of the problem. 

There are two ways in which packaging is likely to be part of the problem of water pollution.  First, packaging of the sort that you are talking about needs to be manufactured.  The process of manufacturing plastics requires the use of water.  Water that has been used in an industrial process can become polluted from chemicals that are also used in the process.  This can be a source of water pollution.  Second, these types of packaging typically end up getting thrown away.  If they are disposed of in landfills they are not a huge problem for water pollution because they do not degrade quickly.  However, if they are left out in the open, they often end up in bodies of water.  (And they are sometimes dumped directly into places like the ocean.)  When they end up in water, they become a major source of pollution.

Packaging is not likely to be part of a solution to water pollution.  It would be possible for scientists to devise types of packaging that are less harmful to water, but it is unlikely that packaging will ever be able to actually result in less water pollution than there would be if packaging did not exist at all.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team