Is plastic affecting our world to the point where we might need to take action? Plastics have taken over our oceans, lakes, and every product we use. Marine animals such as fish, turtles, seals, seabirds, whales, etc. are being affected by the plastic being flushed, littered or even windblown into the ocean. Our air is being polluted by tiny plastics called microplastics. It is possible that all fish go extinct by the year 2050. The percentage of the trash in the Great Lakes is 80%. Microplastics found in water and rushed into the waterways end up in the water we drink and the fish we eat.
Some of these facts from the film support my claim:
However, plastic has found its way more than 6 and a half miles down into the ocean. Small pieces of plastics are known as microplastics. To begin with, microplastics are smaller than 5 (mm). There are 5 types of microplastics: Fibres, Microbeads, Fragments, Nurdles, Foam. Plastic Fibres come from items such as clothes like fleece, diapers and cigarette butts. Baby wipes, flushable wipes, and cleaning wipes are often found at combined sewer overflows. Other common items flushed down the toilet are used condoms and tampons as well.
Avoid personal care products that have ‘poly’ on the label. I didn’t know that over “5,000 items of marine plastic are being found per mile of beach in the UK”. Every minute of our lives, one garbage truck of plastic is thrown away into the oceans. More than a million bags are used every minute. Do people even know that in recent years we have produced more plastic than in the last 100 years?
Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic found in facial cleansers, laundry and dishwasher pods, cigarette butts, etc. Also, on average 300,000 microbeads are found in one common personal care product. When the fleece is washed, washing machines release microfibers into the wastewater. Fleece jacket can release up to 250,000 microfibres! These microbeads eventually bypass sewage treatment plants and enter the Great Lakes. Canada and the USA have labeled microbeads as ‘toxic substances.’ For your information, they will be banned in both countries by 2019.
If plastics were completely banned in the United States we wouldn’t have our oceans and lakes filled up with trash from around the world. Not only would our oceans and lakes be clean, but also our land! Animals from the oceans wouldn’t be dying either due to all the plastic entering their bodies. Many wildlife animals also mistake plastic bags for food and sometimes also get entangled in them. Banning plastics would do us such a big favor but it would also bring us problems. We use plastic items in our everyday life right? A lot of things we use are made out of plastic. For example, plastic food containers, glasses, body wash plastic bottles, work supplies that contain plastic, containers for pills & vitamins. There is a lot more to add on to the list. Our automobiles contain plastic parts too. But remember that I am writing this essay on a computer made of out of plastic. Without plastic bottles, our liquids would come in glass bottles. All groceries would be packed in paper bags or cardboard boxes. Fleece items would also be eliminated. Your jackets, blankets, mittens, socks, hats, all of those warm items would be eliminated. Also, water-resistant safety wear would be gone. Computers, television, and cell phones would be gone as well unless they are made of something else. Our world would be so different without plastic.
Personal life changes I would do myself would be to recycle plastics instead of just throwing them away. When grocery shopping I would bring my own reusable bags from home. Instead of buying plastic water bottles, I can buy myself a glass bottle or a hydro flask to reuse. Lastly, my family and I can stop using plastic straws and start using metal straws.
A plan of action we as humans can do to help reduce plastic pollution is to form a group in every country to pick up trash around our cities. And those who do join will get paid a good amount of money. Another plan can be to make rules. For example, ban all plastic in the U.S. and whoever violates this rule will be charged $200. The last plan of action we can do is to create companies around the world that sell non-plastic items that can be reused over and over so that way there is no plastic being used or purchased and at the same time we can reduce the amount of plastic being thrown on to our lands and oceans.
Washington DC established its Skip the Straw Campaign six years ago. Years later, restaurants across the country cut-off plastic straws. One of those restaurants was Starbucks. The city is planning to reduce plastic at least 80% by 2032. For grocery shopping, if wanted grocery bags, customers will be charged 5 cents. Muriel Bowser, Mayor of D.C. created a campaign to reduce the amount of waste entering the rivers. As a country, they educated and encouraged others to help as well by installing trash traps and lowering illegal dumping.
San Francisco Department of the Environment banned all plastic straws, beverage accessories and other items that have to do with plastic in restaurants. This all started back in July, 1st 2019. Only fiber straws, reusable straws, either glass, silicon, and metal are acceptable. Plastic straws are only available for people with disabilities or medical needs.
Since July, 1st 2017, Seattle began its journey to reduce plastic. Seattle stores are being prohibited from letting customers come in and out with plastic bags. Only recyclable paper bags and reusable bags are available in stores. Stores in Seattle are to charge 5 cents per bag. If any rules are violated you are to be charged $250.
Our world is precious, beautiful, and wonderful. Think about all the beautiful places being trashed down with plastic. It hurts to see people throwing trash on the streets because trust me, I’ve seen people do it. Sometimes I even think to myself, what world are we living in? I want you to think twice about throwing another piece of plastic into the ocean. Please, recycle as well. We hope plastic will be banned soon in America. Don’t buy or use plastic. Our world can be so much healthier, think about it.
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