Carlos QuijadaProfessor CollinsEnglish 101
April 18, 2018
Stop Plastic Pollution
Plastic pollution is a terrible issue that not many people address but needs to be addressed. This is not something new, plastic pollution has been happening for centuries now. Plastic pollution is killing many fish, birds, whales, seals, and turtles. Plastic waste is making its way into our oceans and building up in massive amounts. The manufacture of plastic is polluting our air, land and water, exposing people to toxic chemicals. Sometimes plastic pollution may not be visible to the eye but it is happening today and it matters. The plastic particles are present in the air at various locations throughout the world and in all oceans. The production of plastic has become an issue to our world by polluting our air, polluting our oceans/waterways and affecting our wildlife species.
The production of plastic is a very toxic process; releasing toxic materials such as benzene and vinyl hydrochloride. Exposure these materials can cause many effects to oneself including death. These chemicals can be released from the plastic when burned. These materials used in plastic are not chemically bound to the products, making it easy for us to inhale the toxins. We don’t necessarily have to burn the plastic to receive its harmful effects. Take a new car smell for instants. In “New Car Smell” by Steve Ritter he states, “Nearly every solid surface inside a vehicle is a fabric or plastic that is held together in part with adhesives and sealers. Outgassing of residual solvents and other chemicals from these materials leads to a dilute sea of VOCs floating about in the passenger compartment.” The plastic wasn’t being burned and we as consumers still receive its harmful effects. This “new smell” can be towards anything that is new and has that “new smell” considering that the scent we get is just the toxic the materials are released. Any plastic made item has dangerous additives that we as consumers never think about.
Plastic affects our oceans and waterways in many devastating ways. A team of scientist from the National Academy Of Sciences, conducted that over a million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans; which can cause harm to the ocean ecosystems. Plastic often ends up getting caught in the coral reefs were it can be devastating for species to thrive in the environment. These plastics often damage the coral reef causing them to be contaminated and die. In “Plastic Is Killing Our Coral Reef” by Christopher Joyce, he mentions Matthew Savoca, a marine scientist from UC Davis, which he states “ocean waters with lots of plastic waste might also carry other pollutants that could also be contributing to higher rates of coral disease.” They conducted that the coral reefs with plastic are more likely to be diseased and damaged, rather than the healthy corals that have no plastics. We can always try and clean the coral reef, but over time they will be just how they were, dirty because people do not think twice about throwing their belongings in the trash.
Oceans have micro plastic particles in the water. These micro-plastics are consumed by small sea animals such as fish and plankton. In “Oh, This Is Great” by Thomas Mortan he alludes, “… you get to the point where we’re hoisting creatures out and eating them, you’re looking at entire milk crates’ worth of particles build up in their fat. It’s the cycle of life reimagined … We are eating our own refuse.” This brings a lot of thought to my attention because humans are basically eating plastic. Fishes eat plastic, we eat fish. When we eat fish, you probably do not think about what the fish are eating, many fish have been found to consume the plastic trash at sea which is bad news. Especially for the people who only rely on eating fish. As plastic attracts toxins in the environment, these toxins could be released into people’s bodies after they eat fish.
Plastic also affects all types of animals. What we see as garbage, an animal may see that as food. Animals often end up getting tangled in the plastic materials, which can result in death, suffocation, choking or even frustration. Sea animals are very affected by the plastic that gets thrown in the ocean. When the animals consume the plastic, it gets clogged in their stomach which gives them the illusion of being full which conducts to death by starvation. Whales
While addressing on the issue of plastic pollution it is significant to know that it affects our air, oceans, and the wildlife. Plastic pollution is difficult to pick up and costs a lot of money to get it cleaned up. The way plastic pollution happens is by carelessly throwing your belongings anywhere. It takes many dedicated people to care, to go around and clean it up for others. The best way to stop plastic pollution is to make sure it does not get to the grounds in the first place. Take the time to throw out your belongings instead of carelessly throwing them on the floors not knowing how bad you are affecting our environment. People need to get informed and by doing that, spreading awareness is what can make a big impact in our world. Toxins are less likely to enter our waters, more animals are likely to live and enjoy clean water. The amount of gases in the air can decrease and make our air cleaner over time. It takes something to change to make a big change.
Chrispoher Joyce https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/25/580227045/plastic-pollution-is-killing-coral-reefs-4-year-study-finds