Dear Youth Voices,
Plastic Pollution is a serious topic that should be focused on. Many times, the plastic is polluting the Ocean. There are many ways to fight it like recycling, reusing plastic, and not using single-use plastics. What I believe should be done is reducing the amount of single-use plastics made and used.
The first thing we can do is “refusing to any single-use plastics that we don’t need” (Hutchinson 2). There are a lot of single-use plastics that we don’t need. This includes, water bottles, plastic bags, food wrapping like sandwich bags, bubble wrap for packaging, wrapping, and utensils plus dishes like forks, spoons, knives, and cups. All these have alternatives or “alternative versions of those products” (Hutchinson 2). You can easily use a reusable water bottle like a hydroflask or something along the lines like that. You can use reusable grocery bags, paper bags, old newspaper or foam, and metal utensils and reusable cups. In 2015 alone, 448 million tons of plastic were produced around the world (Anastasia 1). By using alternatives, we’re already reducing the amount of single-use plastic being thrown out.
My second reason is “Americans use roughly 100 billion plastic bags per year. Plastic bags can take 400 to 1000 years to decompose. But their chemical residues remain for years after” (oneworldoneocean.com). The reason I chose this is, plastic bags are single-use plastics and can harm marine animals when they eat it thinking it’s food. Over half of the 120 marine species have been found entangled in or ingesting plastic (oneworldoneocean). This plastic literally takes forever to decompose and its still around after the animals eat and die from it. A lot of times, us humans eat the sea animals and there could be microplastics in them. This happens because we don’t recycle a lot of our plastic. Another alternative to plastic is cardboard, as is it recyclable as well, and the best part is, it’s biodegradable! (4Ocean.com)
Now you might be wondering, is all single-use plastic harmful? Well the answer is no. There are a lot of helpful and useful single-use plastics. These can be found in labs and hospitals in things like gloves, syringes, vials, pipettes and sample bags – these are all single-use to control contamination and infection (Harvey 2). We wouldn’t want to re-use something that has been contaminated. It’s important to be careful and safe in these types of places where there is chemicals and sickness. Single-use plastic is used in domestic food aid, emergency responses, and international aid efforts these all need food and water that doesn’t need to be refrigerated and can all be distributed when and where it’s needed (Harvey 2).
In conclusion, I believe that the amount of unnecessary single-use plastics should be reduced. This can be done by using alternatives and recycling. By doing this, I hope we can secure a cleaner ocean and a better future.
Anastasia, Laura. “How Plastic Is Trashing The Planet”. The New York Times, 2019, pp. 15-17, https://upfront.scholastic.com/issues/2018-19/010719/how-plastic-is-trashing-the-planet.html#1030L. Accessed 13 June 2019.
Harvey, Paul. “Sometimes We Really Need Single-Use Plastics”. Oceans Deeply, 2018, https://www.newsdeeply.com/oceans/community/2018/07/06/sometimes-we-really-need-single-use-plastics. Accessed 13 June 2019.
Hutchinson, Brian. “7 Ways To Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution Today”. Oceanicsociety.Org, https://www.oceanicsociety.org/blog/1720/7-ways-to-reduce-ocean-plastic-pollution-today?gclid=Cj0KCQjwt_nmBRD0ARIsAJYs6o2I-yUUjMIcWXCXDjmIhdjb0-AfrgQ_QyL-F2jhXG2eZt6lK1sZrLgaAnhmEALw_wcB. Accessed 13 June 2019.
oneworldoneocean.com. Plastics Breakdown. http://www.oneworldoneocean.com/images/blog/OWOO_PlasticsInfographic_2012_b.jpg. Accessed 13 June 2019.
Team, 4Ocean. “15 Ways To Reduce Your Plastic Use – 4Ocean”. 4Ocean, 2019, https://4ocean.com/blogs/blog/15-ways-to-reduce-your-plastic-use-4ocean. Accessed 13 June 2019.