Plastic Pollution is a Major Problem

I researched plastic pollution to write a paper about how it affects the environment, when I was a freshman in highschool. Then again as a senior in highschool. 5 years later and I’m writing about it again. I realize all the information is the same, yet the situation seems to be getting worse. Plastic pollution continues to grow throughout the entire world, even to places where no humans being have ever been. Plastic does so much damage to our environment, there needs to be more of an effort to fix this crisis. 

Plastic is killer to the environment, to animals, and even to us. A lot of people don’t care because they can’t see any urgent affects. However, if we don’t do something about it now, it’ll only get worse for us later. So here’s the issue, we are not making a big enough effort to get rid of plastic, as well as clean up the current plastic in our oceans and other environments. After so many years of researching, and learning about plastic I learned more about how plastic is damaging our lives and environments. This type of pollution has caused marine life to be endanger, the environment to slowly die, and it poisonous to ourselves as well. We need to raise an even bigger awareness, and make a better effort to actually try and find a solution. We have to do this for us, and for our earth. If we don’t stop, or at least attempt to slow the problem down then we will have bigger issues on our hands. There are three main reasons why we should do something about plastic pollution. One, it affects our environment. Two, it kills a lot of animals, especially marine life. Three, it affect OUR health. To get a better understanding of what is occurring with plastic pollution. I will present evidence from both sides to show why people think this is nothing to worry about, but also explain how harmful this can be.

The first negative effect of plastic pollution that I want to talk about is its effect on the environment. I’ll keep the focus on the marine environment. What plastic pollution does to our environment is damage it greatly. One thing it does is, it kills coral. “Scientists examined 125,000 corals across the Asia-Pacific region, home to half the world’s reefs, and found 89% of those fouled by plastic were suffering disease. On plastic-free reefs, only 4% of the corals were diseased.” This form of pollution causes diseases that kill our reefs, and that’s not all. Plastic pollution also contributes to giant patches of rubbish in our oceans. They call is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. Marine debris is litter that ends up in oceans, seas, and other large bodies of water.” Literal piles of garbage and plastic floating where no humans have gone are out there. Plus, these things will only get bigger and cause more damage if we don’t somehow get control over this situation.

The second thing that plastic pollution effects is marine life. Now I know everyone knows about this. Who hasn’t seen a thousand videos on facebook of people pulling random plastic objects out of sea animals. Just the other week I saw a video of people pulling a full length straw out of a sea turtle’s nose. It was excruciating to watch. You could see how much pain the turtle was in because of a plastic straw; something so harmless to us is killer to marine animals. “Ocean plastic is estimated to kill millions of marine animals every year. Nearly 700 species, including endangered ones, are known to have been affected by it. Some are harmed visibly—strangled by abandoned fishing nets or discarded six-pack rings. Many more are probably harmed invisibly.” Even tiny little animals in the oceans are affected by plastics. They eat microplastics, which is plastic that has degraded to such tiny bits that make it nearly invisible. If fish eat plastic and we eat fish, then that can only mean we’re eating plastic. Now pay attention, because here’s what eating plastic does to us.

One of the biggest reason I find plastic pollution alarming is because, plastic is everywhere. It’s mostly likely in our bodies. The tiny, unseeable plastics called microplastics are eaten by fish, which are in time eaten by us. These tiny pieces o f plastic carry toxins into marine life, which then go into us. “the larger reason plastic is so dangerous is that it releases toxic chemicals like bisphenol-A (BPA) when it breaks down. BPA, which mimics estrogen, messes with our hormones and can also be carcinogenic.” If you don’t think plastic pollution has nothing to do with humans because it doesn’t affect us, guess again. It’s not only changing the things around us, but it’s actually affecting us now. As you can see, there are a magnitude of reasons to why plastic pollution has become such a big problem. It affects the environment, it affects marine life, and most of all it affect us. This is more than enough reason for us to start making changes about this situation, however there are reasons as to why people think we shouldn’t do anything.

While researching about this issue, I wasn’t surprised to not find much opposing responses on the issue. However, I did find a lot of people saying that the the situation is too big to really do any fixing. It is because the plastic pollution crisis is so big, that we as individuals should do anything to help. We can’t just leave it to legislation to create more laws against plastic. Despite thoughts such as, “the cycle is endless, and it happens countless times every single day. But here’s the catch – there is no “away”. As far as we try to toss a piece of plastic – whether it’s into a recycling bin or not – it does not disappear. Chances are, it ends up polluting our communities, oceans or waterways in some form.” By using less plastic in your life, it allows for less plastic to end up someplace where it’s not supposed to be. I believe making that not only laws can help this fight against plastic, but ourselves as well.

Another reason why people may not make a move against plastic is because it is a reliable resource to us. Where isn’t plastic found? It’s even in the clothes we wear. The versatility of plastic materials comes from the ability to mold, laminate or shape them, and to tailor them physically and chemically. There is a plastic suitable for almost any application.” Plastic is also a material that is very sturdy, which is what causes the disposal problems. However, we created a lot of plastic items that we don’t need. For example, drinking straws. We could go out entire lives without using straws, yet it’s one of the biggest plastic polluters out there. The same go with plastic bags. If we take out unnecessary plastics from being used, that would help decrease the number of plastic pollution found.

As you can see there are some thoughts that are ignorant towards this matter, but I hope through this you can see we can’t turn a blind eye to the situation. Even though the crisis may  seem to big for us to have any true effects on, every little thing counts. We may rely so heavily on plastics but not all plastic is necessary, so less take them out. The consequences plastic pollution has on the environment, on animals, and on us is too great. The earth needs our help, but most of all we need our help. Let’s do our part to lessen the load on this issue. Hopefully a movement can be made by the citizens as well as legislation to come up with a more renowned solution. Although if not, we all need to do our part. Pick up any liter you see on the streets, attend your local beach clean-up, reuse instead of recycle. Let’s make earth a cleaner, and healthier place to live in for all of us.

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One Comment to “Plastic Pollution is a Major Problem”

  1. I felt that your subject was a great one to use. To me, the effects of plastic pollution are not only harmful to sea creatures, but it also is harmful to humans. If I were to suggest anything to potentially work on before complete submission, I would advise that you focus on providing more factual evidence to back up some of your claims. I also would work on including the gist of an articles content and minimizing large paragraphs when necessary. This will help engage the reader and provide short and direct information pertaining to that specific topic. Keep up the work. 🙂

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