Plastic kills wildlife

Plastic can cause harm to both humans and animals.


Plastic waste on the shore

Much of the garbage that we dispose of goes into the ocean, and affects the wildlife that lives in it.

Thousands of species, such as seabirds, whales, fish and sea turtles mistake plastic waste for their food, and many die of starvation as their stomachs are filled with plastics.

Every minute, a dump-truck load of plastic enters the world’s oceans.  It hurts the wildlife, and pollutes our food supply.

 “I feel bad because it affects the environment and water too.  It affects the ecology of the planet in a bad way that causes the deaths of seals, whales, and other animals in oceans and seas,” Presan Shrestha, a Newcomers sophomore, said.

Plastics do have a lot of benefits, if they are used sparingly and responsibly.  They keep our food fresh so we don’t have to waste it. They are clean and long-lasting. And, once we are done using them, they can be turned into something new.  Examples include clothing, new bottles, containers, and picnic tables.

But plastic is being abused.

“It is very irresponsible for people to throw away their plastic bags outside of a trash bin because they end up in the ocean and harm other creatures, Gabriela Barraco, a sophomore, said.  “It’s also really bad for the environment.”

If ingested, small plastic particles may harm our health once they have entered our bodies.  Plastic can lead to many health issues such as cancer, diabetes, kidney problems and lung damage.

One of  the most devastating elements of this pollution is that plastic takes thousands of years to decay. As a result, fish, whales and other wildlife are becoming poisoned.  In turn, the toxins from the plastics have entered the food chain, threatening human health.

In 2021, about 5.25 trillion micro pieces of plastic entered our oceans.  They weighed up to 269,000 tons. Every day around eight million pieces of plastic make their way into our oceans.  The United States contributes much more ocean plastic pollution than any other country.  

Many people fail to recycle plastic properly- and we need to do better, so we can save our world from pollution. To protect the world from plastic pollution, three solutions are in order.

The first solution is to not use too much plastic in the first place. We should only use plastic that we need, and make sure that we throw it away properly, so that it never enters the oceans. 

Another solution is to dispose of plastic litter properly.   When we go out on the sidewalk, on the beach, or in the water, we should throw away any discarded plastic that we see.

There also needs to be more bins in public areas.  More opportunities to dispose of plastic properly, coupled with more campaigns to teach people about the effects of the plastic pollution, will help to curb plastic pollution and engender a better world for all of us.