When I chose my research paper subject — microbead pollution — I thought it would be straightforward and easy to write about.  But as I kept on researching, I found that this was actually a bad thing: my topic was so straightforward that there is already a solution to it.  I was surprised at how much has been done in response to this problem in a short amount of time.

There are many organizations, such as Beat the Microbead, that are fighting against microbeads around the world.  I was also amazed at how willing major companies were to take a pledge promising to never use microbeads in products.  Here is a list of some of the brands who have taken this pledge.  Of course, these are great steps in preventing microbead pollution, and legislation banning the manufacture and use of microbeads will become effective in July 2017.  But it did hinder my research on this subject.  

After a couple days of contemplating whether or not to completely change the focus of my project, I decided to broaden my topic to not just microbead pollution, but plastic pollution in water, specifically in the Great Lakes.  I found throughout my research on microbeads that the problem greatly affects the massive bodies of water surrounding my state, and I would like to expand on that.  

Over the next week, I would really like to interview two people: one is a specialist who works with TEACH (an organization concerning pollution in the Great Lakes), and the other is someone from Ocean Plastics Pollution, which works with ocean pollution.  By combining what I already know about microbead pollution with information from these two organizations, I hope that I will be able to make a strong claim towards the prevention of plastic pollution.  

Something else I noticed throughout my research is that not many people seem to know or care about plastic, especially microbead, pollution.  I would like to find a way to make the pollution of our waters better known, because I think that people will care if they knew how dire the issue is.  This will especially apply to “Michiganders,” because so many of us have a strong connection with the Great Lakes.  

CC BY-SA 4.0 Plasticy Waters by Naomi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

12 Comments
  1. mitchell 9 months ago

    Naomi. I think it is a very good idea for you to bring this up to bring awareness to this problem. I had no idea that plastic in water was such a major factor. I did not think that big companies would be so willing to help with the problem but you make it seem like they voluntarily did it without hassle. I do not know if I am just missing something but I do not quite understand what microbead pollution is so you might want to make that a little more clear. Overall I really liked it, it is a very interesting topic and I wish you luck with your findings.

  2. Montana 10 months ago

    Hi Naomi,
    I am very glad that you have spoken about the microbeads issue. I for one use to drink out of plastic water bottles and I am ashamed of it because I know it is bad for our planet. For me, I love clean filtered water, so I now have a water bottle that filters water every time I drink. Overall, I am very saddened about this pollution deal and I hope this issue is fixed anytime soon.

  3. Isa 11 months ago

    We studied this last year in Oceanography. As boring as plastic in the ocean may sound to some people it was actually one of the more interesting things we studied that year. I think this is a great topic and I hope your essay takes part in informing more people about this major issue! Good luck writing 🙂

  4. Addie 11 months ago

    I know that your focus is on plastic in the great lakes but I think it would be helpful to check out some research on plastic in the ocean. Most plastic ends up in several larges masses in the ocean and I wonder if the same occurs in the great lakes

  5. Abi 11 months ago

    This is a super interesting topic to right about, check out this article about ways to reduce plastic solution https://www.nrdc.org/stories/10-ways-reduce-plastic-pollution

  6. Blerta 11 months ago

    Hi Naomi,
    I did not know that this was a problem in our states, quite frankly I did not know that plasticity pollution in waters was an addressed problem. I think it is quite interesting that you will be interviewing specialists in this department. I wonder though how you are going to conduct the interview. Will you have pre-made questions or will you just open up the conversation and see where it takes you. Overall, I wish you success!

  7. Rachel 11 months ago

    Naomi, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about your topic about plastic in our waters. I was aware of the microbead issue but unaware that pollution of plastic directly affected the Great Lakes around us. This is quite a sad discovery to me since I spend a lot of my summer sailing or swimming in those lakes. I agree with you that awareness needs to be spread in dealing with your topic, and I look forward to hearing what information you take away from your interviews. Good luck with your research journey 🙂

  8. Jee 11 months ago

    Hey Naomi,
    As I read your article I came to gain a new perspective of doing a research. On the beginning I also thought my research was going to be pretty straightforward. Later, however, I found the issue to be more complex than I thought it would be. So I am currently trying to figure out what I have now.
    I guess it’s hard in both ways to make the research better. Hope both of our papers turn out great.

  9. Andrew 11 months ago

    I think this is a really cool development with your research, though it may have shifted your focus. I think it’s great for people to see that we actually are making progress on pollution, even though it seems grim. Can’t wait to see where this takes you!

  10. Grace 11 months ago

    I learned about this topic in a class and it is really interesting! I’m glad that you found that there is a lot being done to solve this problem because it is a serious problem. I think it would be really cool if you were able to interview those people and find out more about this environmental issue.

  11. Mae 11 months ago

    I have learned about this topic before and I think it’s great you are researching it. As you mentioned I think it isn’t super well known, but it something that more attention should be brought to because it is so important. That would be cool if you got a chance to interview those people you mentioned, and I hope you right up a follow up about what they have to say!

  12. Olivia 11 months ago

    I learned about plastic pollution in a class last year and it’s such an important environmental issue. It’s a great thing to write your paper on and you should make an update post after talking to those organizations!

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