PSA Project Plastic Pollution

Throughout the years we’ve learned to become more dependent on the use of plastic, as it is abundant and very low in cost to produce. However, it is not the use of plastic that has become detrimental to our environment and marine life, it is the improper disposal and lack of awareness to the real issue. More than 8 million metric tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year. Improper disposal of plastic waste such as trash on beaches and city gutters that carry plastic debris straight to the sea makeup ⅔ of the plastic in our oceans today. We produce over 300 million tons of plastic every year 50% of which is single used purposes such as, plastic bags, straws, packaging wrappers, and more. As plastic in our ocean builds, it becomes nearly impossible to discard of it. Plastic can take up to hundreds of years to break down and even then it is not biodegradable, making the ocean full of plastic waste. So how harmful can plastic in our oceans be? Plastic waste being littered into our oceans poses a great threat for the marine life, as most marine animals will run into plastic waste, such as lost fishnets, straws, plastic bags, and sharp plastic shards which can easily entangle and pierce the animal leading to injuries and even death. Plastic debris can also easily be mistaken for food which can be detrimental to smaller species such as turtles, who can choke while other large species such as whales experience starvation as the plastic waste in their stomachs make them feel full. According to recent studies by Pewtrust Organization, revealed marine plastic pollution in 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals and 40% of the sea birds species examined. Not only is the marine ecosystem being affected but the environment itself is experiencing harmful effects with plastic waste. Chemical components of plastic can be harmful to humans, as well as the emission of CO2 and methane in the process of production The amount of fossil fuel emissions to produce plastic plays a big part in climate change. Although our oceans are polluted, there is still time to make a change and help prevent further plastic pollution. Such as Limiting your use for single use plastic is always a great way to start. Things like Metal straws, reusable totes bags, and reusable water bottles help limit your use for every day plastic. Donating and volunteering to organizations such as International coastal clean up help make beaches trash free as they hold year round clean up events. Recycling plastic gives it other opportunities to be reused again in another way, as well as keep plastic debris from ending up in our oceans. We should also be supporting companies such as addidas who created an entire clothing line from recycled plastics dedicated to help alleviate plastic waste in our ocean. It’s these little changes that help the most, so let’s make a change and help reduce the use of plastic for a cleaner and happier home not only for ourselves but for our marine friends as well.

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