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.