In today's world, on account of population growth with its resulting requirement to increase the exploitation of environmental resources, the problem of aggravation and emergence of ecological barriers in economy becomes more and more pressing. The article discusses selected socio-economic and ethical aspects of anthropogenic hazards that lead to the creation of ecological barriers. Other issues taken up by the author include socio-economic conceptions of using the environment. Emphasis is placed on the complex and often elusive process of the formation of those barriers. A hypothetical course of the formation of an ecological barrier over time is presented. Moreover, attention is drawn to the multiplicity of types of such barriers as well as their diversified interactions and consequences. The aspect of a decreasing energy consumption of the major branches of industry in Polish economy serves as an example of very moderately optimistic, though not simple and unambiguous possibilities and ways of alleviating the barriers and limitations that result from the exploitation of the environment in Poland.