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Plastic Pollution Essay Examples and Research Papers

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Essay Examples

Overview

An Ethical Problem of Plastic Pollution

The internet provides easy access to problems all over the world. This instant access poses ethical questions about the responsibility individuals have with respect to the environment. One topic that always sparks debate is plastic pollution. Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic objects in the environment that harmfully affect both human and animal populations. If plastic is harmful,…

Ethical Dilemma,

Plastic Pollution,

Pollution

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Pages: 10
Words: 2473

Danger of Plastic Pollution

Some of the biggest invention can create the biggest of problems. This is true especially for a material like plastic. Undoubtedly, one of the most widely utilized synthetic products, plastic is very convenient, cheap and durable. It has multifarious uses and found everywhere in the world. However, the more we use something, the more we…

Plastic Pollution

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Pages: 2
Words: 461

Ways to Manage the Plastic Waste

Plastic trouble has been the heated issue for this century. The use of plastic has caused a lot of trouble towards human’s health, animals’ life, marine ecosystem and ultimately towards the environment. Various organizations, companies, community leaders and advisor are implementing different techniques to get rid of this problem. Some are focusing on reducing the…

Ocean Pollution,

Plastic Pollution,

Recycling

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Pages: 7
Words: 1652

Negative Effect of Plastic on Human and Environment

Plastic is light, easy to make and it is cheap to produce. Because of these reasons, plastic is used in everyday items to the point where everything we use and see seems to have plastic or is made from plastic. Yet, even though plastic is used in everyday items, its use can have harmful effects:…

Environment Pollution,

Plastic Pollution,

Pollution

Open Document
Pages: 4
Words: 777

Banning Plastic Bags to Overcome Plastic Pollution

Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into oceans. The plastic waste problem is a great issue that the world is facing today. While plastic has brought many great benefits to society, it has done so at the cost of harm to the environment and wildlife. Plastic bags, in particular, contribute greatly to…

Plastic Pollution,

Pollution,

Save Environment

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Pages: 7
Words: 1748

Importance of Reducing Plastic Pollution

Plastic is everywhere. Ever since it was invented, it has become a crutch for the world. As, we use it to carry our water, our groceries, encase our food, eat out of, and much more. It has become a primary role in our everyday lives, but the issue is that it is usually used once…

Ocean Pollution,

Plastic Pollution,

Pollution

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Pages: 8
Words: 1932

Plastic Straws as a Reason of Plastic Pollution

Plastic straws are a controversial item that has started multiple discussions and arguments about pollution with plastics. Millions of plastic straws are used and gone to waste everyday across the world. They damage our ecosystem by polluting our air and harming wildlife. The distribution of plastic straws has become such an issue in San Francisco…

Environment Pollution,

Ocean Pollution,

Plastic Pollution

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Pages: 5
Words: 1242

The Plastic Bane: A Better Life for our Tomorrow People

Plastic is a very helpful invention, but know that it isn’t the best as far as reusing and disposing of. The atomic structure and combination of elements allows plastics to last anywhere between 500-1000 years until it deteriorates. The ‘immortal’ plastic waste damages the environment crucially. The damage is not done in only one ecosystem,…

Ocean Pollution,

Plastic Pollution,

Save Environment

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Pages: 8
Words: 1863

Eliminating Plastic Straws

Many things that are useful to people produce pollution. For example, cars release dangerous gases into the air. We use burning coal to create electricity produces toxic smoke into the air we breathe. We also produce garbage every day, which contain anything from food waste to harmful materials, such as plastics, electronics, cans, glass jars,…

Ocean Pollution,

Plastic Pollution,

Pollution

Open Document
Pages: 4
Words: 906

Big Issue of Plastic Pollution

What do rubber duckies, Regina George, and the environment have in common? Plastic. However, these aren’t the only items that contain plastic. So do water bottles, children’s toys, food containers, and straws. In fact, since plastic production began in the 1950s, we have produced 18.2 trillion pounds of it, equivalent to 1 billion elephants, 80…

Environmental Protection,

Ocean Pollution,

Plastic Pollution

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Pages: 6
Words: 1258
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information

How did we get the large-scale plastic problem?

 

Whether you are aware or not, every location of land on Earth ultimately leads to the ocean because it is downstream. This is important because this inevitably means that the ocean is ultimately receiving much of the plastic waste generated. Researchers estimate that about 4.8 million to 12.7 million tons of improperly discarded plastic litter will end up in our oceans every year as our ever-growing demand for convenience increases. How did we get this massive problem however? Just take a look at how consumer products are wrapped the next time you go to a supermarket. Whether the intended use is for a container, a wrapper, or the actual product itself; most if not all products have some amount of plastic accompanying it. It has literally become a necessity for everyday life for most humans. Though there is much great advancement due to the creation of plastic, it is when this material reaches our oceans that now it suddenly creates a threat to an entire species that depend on the oceans for food. Have you ever thought how a plastic bag may look to a sea turtle? To that sea turtle the bag most resembles that of a jellyfish, which then eats the plastic bag. This leads to a massive problem where almost all marine and terrestrial life can be found to have some amount of plastic in their gut. Imagine the stomachs of some animals that mistake plastic for food, as we come to figure a large majority of our ocean is littered with plastic. As the worlds consumption of plastic increases, so does the danger to it poses to life as we know it.

Pollution due to plastics was first recognized in the 1960s and early 1970s by scientists carrying out scientific studies on plankton in the ocean. These studies found floating plastic waste accumulated in specific regions which account for 40 percent of the world’s oceans. To put this into perspective, imagine what life would be like if the building blocks of our oceans were in danger. Imagine if the food sources for creatures ranging from the tiniest fish to the enormous whales being completely wiped out. Imagine entire ecosystems crumbling due to the primary source of nutrition being threatened. This scenario is, unfortunately, very prominent when looking at the oceans plankton. Plankton are the diverse collection of organisms that live in large bodies of water that provide a crucial source of food to many large aquatic organisms. Scientists are finding that as humans continue to dump litter and waste into our oceans on a daily basis, plankton are finding themselves under increasing pressure just to survive, thus leading them to also ingest plastic particles.

 

What is the negative impact of plastic?

It is now quite apparent how destructive this man-made material is for our oceans, but it is not only affecting marine life. Terrestrial aspects to plastic pollution is also quite prominent. For example, current drainage systems have become absolutely cluttered with plastic which in turn can cause flooding for certain areas in the world. Researchers have also seen complications with land animals. Many birds die on a daily basis solely for the fact that overwhelming amounts of plastic were found in their stomachs. Around the world there are animals that will feed in waste dumps. Those animals will have no choice but to eat the plastic which in turn leads to intestinal blockages from that everyday packaging. As waste dumps expand in residential areas around the world, the poorest humans on earth can be often found living near or even on piles and piles of abundant amounts plastics. So not only is this greatly detrimental to marine life, it has quite a negative impact on land animals including humans.

Believe it or not, plastic also pollutes our earth without the act of littering. Our own body chemistry is being altered by interaction with plastic material. Plastic pollutes our very body functions by interaction of compounds during the manufacturing stage. Not only is plastic physically polluting the environment, but it is also chemically polluting our air and water. These compounds used in the production of plastic material, such as BPA, have become heavily regulated to protect consumers. These regulations are in place to protect the population from ingesting these harmful compounds. The main purpose to place high regulations on these compounds is because of one specific reason; they are highly destructive to the endocrine system in humans. One compound, known as phthalates, act to lower the male hormone of testosterone in both men and women. This would then classify phthalates as an anti-androgen in humans. Another compound, BPA, mimics estrogen in humans which is the female hormone essential for bodily functions, ingestion can gradually increase estrogen levels in humans if the plastic used is not BPA free. Another compound, PBDE, has been studies and conclusive research proves it to disrupt thyroid function in humans. The public is most likely not educated on these dangerous compounds and their effect in humans, but as we can see through studies and research, this material we use in our everyday lives is altering our body chemistry in such a way that it allows for unfavorable hormone levels. This is especially harmful to children and women of reproductive age. This problem is directly impacting human society, but as pollution spreads to our oceans, terrestrial and marine life does not escape these hormone issues either.

 

How to prevent plastic from entering the environment?

Now that we are aware of the problems plastic poses on society and environment as a whole, the next step is educating individuals as well as entire nations on steps to take to tackle this ever-growing problem. Most obviously, the most effective solution but not exactly realistic would be to prevent plastic from entering the environment in the first place. Though this is a great end goal, our society is accustomed to plastic material being a part of our lives and small steps to becoming a plastic-free society would work much more effectively. To attack this problem, consumers would have to urge those who produce or consume plastic to evaluate their actions and provide alternatives to compensate. Developed and developing countries must work together as both are interconnected. Plastic from developed countries usually work their way into these poor developing nations which ultimately deal firsthand with the pollution.

The good news is there are many steps being taken to currently replace the need for plastic material. Eight of the ten most common items in ocean trash are single-use items such as plastic bags, utensils and containers. Steps anyone can take immediately would be to bring your own reusable utensils and containers whenever possible. Most of the public also is not aware that clothing made from polyester, spandex, and nylon can release hundreds of thousands of microfibers per wash. Microfibers can get into the water supply because these particles are so small that purification filters in our washing machines can’t trap them which will directly lead into the oceans water. Clothing made from cotton and other natural fibers are a much cleaner and safer alternative as they do not contain such microfibers. Like microfibers, a material known as microbeads can found in items such as toothpaste and beauty products. Similarly to microfibers, these microbeads go down our sinks and are too small to be trapped, this again leads this material to our oceans and fish often mistake these particles for food. When at the supermarket, during checkout we are handed out plastic shopping bags for all our storage needs. The best solution would be to bring your own reusable bags to eliminate unnecessary waste from these one-time use bags.

 

Conclusion

As we can see, there can be any simple and effective ways to quickly eliminate unnecessary waste from single-use plastic pollution. These steps are very realistic to apply to anyone and would greatly benefit society and the environment as a whole. Though much damage has been done to our environment, it is not too late to change the way we view plastics and do something about their impact. Through the advancement of technology, it is not reasonable to assume we will eliminate plastics, but we can use technology and awareness to our advantage and create useful methods to combat this situation.  

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