Our Plastic World

At some point in our lives, we all have gone to a fast food place or have bought a coffee at Wawa. We often don’t think they have much significance in our life since it’s just food. I bet most of us don’t think of the plastic fork that gets thrown out or the coffee cup that has been used. Both of the objects are used and thrown out daily and are both made of plastic. In a way, our world runs on plastic. From grocery bags to water bottles that contain microplastic. Our world is addicted to plastic, and it’s getting worse every day. Slowly our planet is becoming overfilled with plastic. This plastic is killing marine organisms and affects our environment currently. Our society as a whole is addicted to plastic and we can’t go a day without using it. My goal is to inform people about the problem because I can’t solve the worldwide problem in society. We consume so much plastic that it’s affected innocent animals. I want to solve plastic pollution quickly but I know it will take time.

The picture is from plastic pollution EIA

Plastic pollution is the build-up of plastic in the environment. Plastic has a bad effect on the ocean because it doesn’t break down, it breaks upinto small pieces called microplastic. Microplastic are pieces of plastic that are tinier than 5 millimeters, it can be smaller and be seen under a microscope. Microplastic is so tiny that fish accidentally eat the microplastic because they mistake it for plankton. Microplastic is so tiny because the sun heats the plastic slowly and makes plastic very small. Microplastic is very dangerous. It can cause health issues like pierced organs or fatal intestinal blockage for animals. The build of plastic in the ocean has gotten so bad that around the world there are 5 enormous patches of plastic waste.

The plastic in the ocean has gotten so bad, that by 2050 there will be fewer fish in the sea than plastic. People have found whales being beached and when they took a look inside the whale they discovered most of them are filled with plastic. Whales aren’t the only ones filled with plastic, studies have shown that AT LEAST 40% of seabirds and other mammals are affected by the ingestion of plastic. The overproduction of plastic has taken a negative toll on marine wildlife.

The production of plastic increases faster than how it’s recycled. So how long was it since the production of plastic started to increase, someone may ask. It started largely producing plastic 60 years ago. Around 1950 there had been 2 million metric tons of plastic production. In today’s day, there are about 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic that have been made. About 8 million tons of plastic each year enter the ocean. Sources say it’s like dumping garbage trucks filled with plastic into the ocean every 60 seconds or a minute. By 2050 there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic debris in the ocean. That is not the only problem.

Plastic can take up to 400 years to decompose and in most cases more than the given amount of years. The production of plastic increases faster than how it’s recycled. 80% of the waste products are made of plastic. About 50% out of 300 million tons of plastic is single-use plastic. Around 40% of single-use plastic isn’t recycled. This is because single-use plastic is small objects that tend to fall within the recycling machinery, it’s often not accepted with recycling centers.

In this day plastic is in everything, literally. We can’t get rid of plastic altogether but we can reduce it. We can stop buying bottled water or at least limit it. Limiting the amount of plastic being used is another good way. Instead of using single used plastic use replacements for it, it will help the plant and can also save someone money. Another way that is incredible and true is having the living organism that consumes plastic eat the plastic. There called Mealworms, learn more about clicking the link

Throughout this research and reading about plastic, I realize how people including myself rely on plastic so much. Eliminating plastic will be almost impossible but reducing the consumption of plastic will not only help the planet and animals but for us as well. We can all help reduce plastic pollution by doing simple things but it takes effort to solve it as a world.

My annotated [Bibliography] (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CiGswvgvqOQc_nAUocJADXyx1YEy9r04N4LCMvMO-NA/edit?usp=sharing) about plastic pollution).