Plastic Pollution Essays

Essay Introduction

When one is blissfully feeling sand between their toes when at the beach, it is most likely that one assumes the grains between their feet are just sand. However, due to the fact that people are always using and disposing of plastics, particles of plastics have been incorporated into the sand. Just as there are plastics on land, there are also plastics that have ended up in the oceans. Plastic has become convenient since it was introduced into society but has, in consequence, turned oceans into dump sites of plastics. There are many rising issues that come with plastic pollution, but the dangers it has on marine life are damaging in the long run. It has also raised questions if certain bans and taxing will help marine litter.

Research Paper on Plastic Pollution Essay

Since the day plastic was invented, production for plastic boomed and is essentially used everywhere globally today. The modern plastics used today were invented in 1907 (Lemons). Being made from “polymeric material-… a material whose molecules are very large, often resembling long chains made up of a seemingly endless series of interconnected links” – allows for the plastic to be molded and used in many ways (“Plastic Pollution”). Plastics are so easily moldable, which is why “Anything and everything could be made of plastic, and so it was because plastics were cheap” (Parker). To this day, many plastic products continue to be made because it is still cheap to manufacture.

Thesis Statement for Plastic Pollution Essay

Besides the material being easily manipulated and moldable, it also gives plastic its uniqueness to “defeat natural decay” (“Plastic Pollution”). Meaning when improperly disposed of, plastic can last many years once it has found a place to settle below or above the ocean. That being said, plastics do not disappear over time, but plastics can break down into microplastics. Microplastics could already be man-made as microparticles less than 5mm or are the fragmentations of larger plastics (Galgani 5). These microplastics can “often be invisible to the naked eye” (Galgani 5) but are still present in oceans and shores because plastic is unable to decay. It wasn’t until the 1960s when scientists studying Plankinton noticed the accumulation of plastic in oceans (Lemons). Showing that plastic can be disruptive to organisms in marine life.

Argumentative Essay Examples on Plastic Pollution Essay

The rise in plastic demand and production led to marine litter. “Marine litter is any directly or indirectly manufactured item thrown or abandoned voluntarily or involuntarily into the marine environment” (Galgani 5), which can have negative effects on marine life. Marine animals, big and small, have been affected by large plastics and microplastics. An estimation of “700 species, including endangered ones, are known to have been affected by it” (Parker). Animals can be killed by ingesting plastic mistaken for food or by entanglement (“Plastic Pollution”). Most commonly known are sea turtles mistaking plastic bags for jellyfish. The plastic bags and other single-use plastics that make their way to oceans are due to improper disposal.

Trash and plastic waste are meant to arrive at either landfills, recycling centers, or incinerators, but “approximately 50 percent of all plastic produced are not…” (“Plastic Pollution”). Improper disposal includes the actions of people trying to get rid of their momentarily used plastic. This includes plastics being “dropped on the ground, thrown out of the car window, heaped into an already full rubbish bin, or inadvertently carried off by a gust of wind…” (“Plastic Pollution). It also includes people leaving trash on the beach and garbage accidentally discarded by ships (Richmond 233). When at a young age, one gets to learn that the earth is made up of about 70% of water. Regardless of where plastic waste is improperly disposed of, it is bound to float into the sea that covers most of the earth, “Since the ocean is downstream from nearly every terrestrial location, it is the receiving body for much of the plastic waste generated on land” (Plastic Pollution).

Research Papers Ideas on Plastic Pollution

There are definitely problems that arise for marine life when people decide to use single-use plastics, and therefore debates have been formulated. Knowing that many single-use plastics are free, like plastic grocery bags or straws, there is no conscious thought that the plastic item is contributing to marine litter if it is improperly disposed of. In 2014, satellite images from space showed collections of floating objects on the sea, which turned out to be all trash (Parker). The image revealed that the accumulation of waste in the oceans is a global issue and concern that can continue to increase. Leading to a rise of thought if there should be certain taxing or bans on single-use plastics.

According to Parker’s “Plastic. (Cover Story).”, some countries, such as Kenya, have joined in banning plastic bags. France also proposes to ban plastic plates and cups by 2020. Additionally, the U.S., U.K., and Canada have taken action to remove cosmetic microbeads in exfoliants. Due to the rising concerns of consumers, “Corporations are responding to public opinion” (Parker), resulting in product changes or support to accommodate the opinion of people. Although these are promising actions being taken by countries and corporations, the debate on taxation within the U.S. continues.

Chicago City was one of the first to impose a 7-cent tax on disposable bags in 2017 and has shown a drop of 27.7% in disposable bags used (Lemons). Warren Petersen, Arizona State Senator, argued that “It’s not the government’s job to tell you whether or not you should use a plastic bag” (Lemons). There are different views on the taxation of plastic bags because although they can decrease the amounts of plastics ending up in oceans, it is said to “never [be] good for the consumer and never good for businesses” (Lemons).


Ultimately, it is the choice and responsibility of people to properly dispose of plastics so that the plastic can have no effect on marine life. However, there is no wrong intention when governments intervene or guide people to make an alternative choice to single-use plastics, which they have been culturally accustomed to since the mass production of plastic in the 1900s. Personally, the most single-use plastic I see on the streets are disposable plastic bags. Although there are no oceans nearby, I know that those bags seen moving like tumbleweeds will eventually make their way to a stream where they will be introduced to the body of the ocean and will become one of the trillion plastics in the sea. Seeing so many plastic bags on my own streets has guided me to the research question, ‘What effects do plastic bags have on marine life?’ It’s important to learn how an item that can be obtained at any store, just to be used for the drive or walk home, can have effects on other life.

Stop wasting your time searching for samples!
You can find a skilled professional who can write any paper for you.
Get unique paper