Out of the 33.6million tons of plastic that americans discard each year, only 6.5 percent of it is recycled and 7.8 percent is combusted in waste to energy facilities. The remainder 85.7% ends up in landfills where it may take up to 1000 years to decompose, leaching potential pollutants into the soil and water.
Even though there has yet to be concrete research on the impacts of plastic waste on land-based wild-life, there is concern that incorrectly managed landfills could lead to the escape of plastic waste or the escape of landfill leachate containing chemicals associated with plastic decomposition. Plastic contains chemicals or additive to give it certain properties. Some of the key chemicals are Bisphenol A (negative impact on reproductive systems), Phthalates (endocrine disruptors), and Brominated Flame Retardants (hormone disrupting effects that impairs development of the reproductive and nervous system). A study in 2009 found evidence that more industrialised countries, such as Malaysia and Thailand, had higher BPA concentrations in landfill leachate than less industrialised country.
Even though formal research is lacking, but plastic are similarly ingested by land-based animals. Racoons and wild dogs are often seen to be scavenging garbage dump and may accidentally ingest plastics, thinking that they’re food. Often, we may also observe animals behind tangled by plastic bags, rings or even jars. All this contribute to the suffering of animals.