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4 Whā How do plastics affect us?

Ko te pāpātanga o ngā kirihou ki a tātou

Our health and environments are affected by plastics. Look at the diagram that shows how plastics affect human and animal health. What concerns you most? Can you think of ways to reduce plastics causing harm?

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Ko te pāpātanga o ngā kirihou me taiao? How do plastics affect the environment?

Plastic waste and debris can affect the mauri, or life force, of the environment including cultural health and wellbeing. Plastic pollution may damage habitats and reduce biodiversity through introduction of new pests and diseases.

Ka ahatia ki te tūtaki te kararehe puihi ki te kirihou? What happens when wildlife encounters plastics?

Wildlife can get caught in discarded plastics and often die if they cannot escape. Animals can mistake plastics for food, often resulting in injury or death.

4 Wha corals factoid

Ka raru ngā kararehe taketake? Are native animals affected?

In Aotearoa, plastics have been found in sharks, seals, seabirds, turtles, fish and mussels.

Te hauora o te tangata How plastics affect human health?

  • Benefits: Plastics are important in protecting food and beverages from damage and microbial contamination. In healthcare, plastics provide sterile equipment and hypoallergenic medical devices.
  • Potential harm: Plastics, microplastics and chemicals associated with plastics contaminate our food, water, and air but we don’t yet know how harmful this is.

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