Plastic: The Source of the Problem

By Jeremy

 

Screen Shot 2019-07-15 at 11.56.01 AMTime is golden as the saying goes.

Never has this saying been more accurate than in our day and age. Soiled are our rivers and lakes. Cleared are our forests and jungles. And now, quite literally our oceans are being polluted with over 8 million tons of plastic a year. That’s the same as five plastic bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world. And the biggest slap, is that over half of it is produced as plastic to be thrown away after the first use, one way or another making its way into the oceans.

Time is running out. 

Single use plastic needs to be done away with. Completely. Out of stores, out of restaurants, out of our lives.

Single use plastic. One of man’s more horrible inventions, it was made to make our lives easier and simpler. Do you think we are taking it to the extreme yet? No? Here’s some more evidence.

It is estimated that every square kilometer of ocean in the world, has a least 13,000 pieces of plastic in it, along with a growing vortex of plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, of which 40% is single use plastic. The ramifications are enormous. Marine animals live in every square kilometer of the ocean and the plastic there can be swallowed, cause mutilation, and upset the delicate balance of life in the oceans, more often it being a combination of all three. 

If this evidence is not compelling enough for you, let me tell you a bit about climate change. Did you know that fossil fuels are required to make plastic? Or that fossil fuels are the leading cause for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? Or that almost all of the plastic produced, through fossil fuel use, is thrown away every day?

Plastic is part of the overarching problem, both for the oceans and the surface. Both for us and the fish. It increases the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and pollutes the oceans.

Perfect. Two birds with one stone.

However all is not lost!

We still have a chance to reverse the damage and prevent the spread of single use plastic even more. The answer is rather simple, albeit performing the task will most certainly not be. 

Stop using single use plastic. 

Straws, bottles, plastic bags, cups, plastic packaging and even more. They are all single use, and much harder to recycle then we all think. If we stop using them, plastic companies will have to shut down or change their product because they won’t be making profits anymore. And while the plastic that is already in the oceans won’t go away any time soon, halting the production of it would give us more time to figure out how to deal with plastic in general.

Ladies and gentlemen the window of opportunity to change the impending fate of a world covered in plastic is rapidly closing. 

We no longer have the luxury to live our lives in this plastic filled luxury, for all over the world the consequences are showing. 

Once beautiful beaches are now covered in plastic. Once clean oceans are are now infested with plastic. Once healthy animals are now grown fat and bloated and more than a little dead after gorging themselves on plastic.

The time to act is now. Stop using it. Stop thinking about needing to use it. Refuse straws from restaurants, from Boost and Tealive in Great Eastern Mall. When you go shopping, bring your own bags, you probably have a few lying around somewhere. 

It doesn’t require a monumental change in your life, only a conscious decision to think about how you are living it, and how you could be smarter about use of plastic.

Not in 10 years, not in 5 years, not even tomorrow. Today.

Do it today.

 

Works Cited

Anastasia, Laura. “HOW PLASTIC IS TRASHING THE PLANET.” Junior Scholastic/Current / Events, 19 Nov. 2018, p. 6+. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A563081110/GPS?u=60iskl&sid=GPS&xid=002a2 de7. Accessed 2 Apr. 2019.

Cormier, Zoe. “Plastic unfantastic.” This Magazine, Mar.-Apr. 2008, p. 18+. Opposing Viewpoints in Contexthttp://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A177018264/GPS?u=60iskl&sid=GPS&xid=520f16d0. Accessed 2 Apr. 2019.

“Fact Sheet: Single Use Plastics.” Earth Day Network, 10 Apr. 2018, www.earthday.org/2018/03/29/fact-sheet-single-use-plastics/.

“Plastic Bag Jellyfish – O N C A.” O N C Aonca.org.uk/gallery/screen-shot-2018-06-19-at-10-24-25/.