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Pollution and Environmental sustainability



Pollution and Environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability is defined as the rate of renewable resource harvest,

pollution creation, and non-renewable resource depletion that can be contained indefinitely. If

the materials can’t be contained, then they can’t be sustainable. Earth is a celestial body

where life exists but in the recent past years it is becoming inhabitable to lots of species

as showed by steep decline in diversity of nature and wildlife. Anthropogenic activities are the

main reason behind the worsening of the conditions for life on earth. Human activities have

led to increased climate change, increased concentration of greenhouse gases, depletion of

non-renewable sources, degradation of land, loss of biodiversity, pollution of water, soil and

air and accumulation of harmful recalcitrant chemicals. Increased human activities are

lineated to the increasing environmental problems experienced in the world. Predictions show

that the conditions of biodiversity, scenario of land availability and quality environment will

have far deteriorated by 2050 if control measures are not implemented (Wong and Zhou, 2015,

  1. 156). Biological and ecological aspects need to be imperatively included in order to

achieve the targets of environmental sustainability. An integrated approach is needed at a

continuous basis and urgently to curate the earth of anthropogenic issues. Governments and

researchers have greatly prioritized the environmental issues to counter the critical issues

likely to arise, hence threatening human civilization.


Environmental pollution is a global challenge affecting environmental sustainability.

Pollution affects all life forms in one way or the other. Anthropogenic activities have

contributed to various types of pollution affecting the ecosystem. Rampant industrialization,

urbanization and high rate of deforestation are deteriorating the environment. According to

Wong and Zhou, (2015, p. 158), 92% of pollution related deaths are from the developing

countries. There has been an increased congestion on urban locations which has jeopardized the

quality and mobility of soil, air and water. Financial losses resulting from pollution is

estimated to be US$ 4.6 trillion per annum which accounts to 6.2% of the global economic

output (Gulas et al, 2017, p. 53). Health care costs have also raised due to air pollution and

non-communicable diseases and this amounts to almost 10% of the Global gross domestic

product. A wide range of pollutants have been released to the environment through industrial

emission. According to researchers the ozone layer has been thinning in the lower

stratosphere and this is even linked to the chemicals used in paint industries. High consumption

of fossil fuels due to increasing demand of energy is causing air pollution and global warming.

Also, plastics are another recalcitrant and xenobiotic pollutants causing havoc on earth.

Tones of plastics end up into oceans each year which is a great threat to the marine life. Oil

spills have caused a lot of harm to the marine ecosystem. These oils have non-polar and polar

components which have greatly impacted the ecosystem. Urbanization and

industrialization has polluted the environment with toxins like metals, electronic waste.

Pollution and Environmental sustainability

Corrective measures have been put in place to reduce the impact and also prevent

environmental degradation. Despite the effort made by scientist and researchers in

documenting the possible solution little has been implemented to control the impacts.

Technical approaches are mostly used and the sustainable solutions to degradation of

environment are neglected. For sustainable solutions to environmental solutions, biological

solutions should be implemented. The following are the solutions to the environmental

challenge. First, the use of microbes which exist in all part of biosphere. They plain a crucial

role in the maintenance of ecosystem. They are used in treatment of pollution and they are

able to tackle the issue in a simple and economical way with little inputs and issues. Microbes

are wonderful and powerful cleaning agents and degrade almost everything. Microorganisms

remove pollutants generally at source through the process of degradation. Microbial

techniques have been implemented and used in various points for degradation of waste

material. Also, Microorganisms are used in the detoxification of xenobiotic organic

compound. According to Khatoon, Jamal, and Ali (2017, p. 9) biodegradation is crucial

technique in the removal of polymeric pollutants. In addition, microorganisms, rhizosphere

microbes are used in reclamation of polluted habitats through the conversion of the pollutants

into non-hazardous substances. Bioremediation is an effective eco-friendly and promising

technology used in removing hazardous pollutants from the environment (Krueger, Harms

and Schlosser, 2015, p. 8857.). Bioremediation is applied in two types; in situ and ex situ. In

ex situ the water or soil is excavated and taken to laboratory for treatment. It is more

complicated and involves more capital but it is a swift process compared to in situ. Ex situ can

be used on various pollutants under optimum conditions. In situ is applied on the site the

microbes are used create remediation through the utilization of nutrients needed for their

metabolism. An increase in microbial growth increases the rate of bioremediation which

helps in controlling pollution. Microbes are also useful in removal of pollutants in

agricultural lands which assist in reclamation of polluted soils. Microbes also play an

important role in environmental sustainability through recycling of industrial, thermal and

agricultural waste and wastewater treatment. Furthermore, microbes are able to reduce air

pollution since they are capable of converting CO2 into calcite or insoluble calcium

carbonate, hence reducing its concentration in the atmosphere (Singh, 2014, p. 1). Moreover,

human activities such as excessive use of fossil fuels, damping waste of rivers, draining of

sewage on rivers and deforestation need to be countered to reduce the level of both air, water

and land pollution.

Pollution and Environmental sustainability

In conclusion. Survival of mankind is based on environmental sustainability and

failure to save the ecosystem and environment will lead to severe climate conditions.

Anthropogenic activities are creating great damage and there is a need to shift to green

alternatives. Biological entities are very essential in controlling the rate of environmental

sustainability.Pollution and Environmental sustainability


















Wong, J.K.W. and Zhou, J., 2015. Enhancing environmental sustainability over building life

cycles through green BIM: A review. Automation in Construction, 57, pp.156-165.

Singh, R., 2014. Microorganism as a tool of bioremediation technology for cleaning

environment: a review. Proceedings of the International Academy of Ecology and

Environmental Sciences, 4(1), p.1.

Krueger, M.C., Harms, H. and Schlosser, D., 2015. Prospects for microbiological solutions to

environmental pollution with plastics. Applied microbiology and biotechnology, 99(21),


Gulas, S., Downton, M., D'Souza, K., Hayden, K. and Walker, T.R., 2017. Declining Arctic

Ocean oil and gas developments: Opportunities to improve governance and environmental

pollution control. Marine Policy, 75, pp.53-61.

Khatoon, N., Jamal, A. and Ali, M.I., 2017. Polymeric pollutant biodegradation through

microbial oxidoreductase: a better strategy to safe environment. International journal of

biological macromolecules, 105, pp.9-16.