Research Paper Plastic waste constitute the majority of the world’? garbage and it has become a grave threat to human and marine life. Introduction Our life is filled with plastics. As we wake up, we comb our hair with combs made out of plastic, we brush our teeth with toothbrush made of plastic…
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We use plastics, as we turn on the television, microwave oven and the list could go on endlessly. We are on an era of plastic. Plastics are very convenient to use. It is cheap and durable. One time use plastic wares are convenient to both ‘on the go’ buyers and storeowners. It is cheaper to produce and to transport because of its weight lightness. However, plastic garbage is becoming a nightmare and a great waste of energy. After we’d use those plastic products it end up on our garbage bins and so long plastic garbage. Very few of us ever care where it ends up after the garbage trucks collect it. Who cares, as long as we are having a convenient life? But folks, I think it is high time we analyze our lifestyle and how do we contribute to the overwhelming plastic garbage in our society and in the entire world. Plastic waste constitute the majority of the world’? garbage and its becoming a threat to both human and marine life. The Extent of Plastic Waste Plastics have only been in circulation in the last 100 years, but its harmful effect on the health and lives of people and marine life is increasingly becoming severe. Globally, it is estimated that more than 500 billion of plastic bags are consumed every year. Currently, in the United States alone, Americans are throwing 100 billion plastic bags every year which is roughly equivalent to 12 million gallons of oil as plastic are made from carbon drawn from petroleum (Mcnamee). Moreover, it is estimated that more than 350 tons of plastic waste are disposed directly into the sea world wide. A single plastic bag takes more than a hundred years before it breaks down. It is durable and very convenient to use and seemingly very harmless. Ironically, the single plastic bag, which was use to put on the classy shoe or bag that we purchase on the mall can cause the lives of several animals. Can we imagine how much damage the billion of plastic bags and other plastic waste can do to marine lives and to our own health? Plastic Waste as Threat to Marine life In 1997 during a Transpacific Yacht Race, between California and Hawaii, Captain Charles Moore accidentally discovered what is now known as the TRASH VORTEX or the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean. The trash vortex is approximately twice the size of Texas and four times the size of Germany in Pacific Ocean which is filled with various floating plastic waste from old toys, golf balls, kayaks, plastic bottles and a lot more which will not be able to decay in our lifetime. Besides to the floating trash vortex, it is assumed that 70% of the plastic waste sinks into sea bottom. According to Greenpeace, approximately 110 pieces of plastic waste were to be found per square kilometer at the sea bottom. It is calculated that a total of 600,000 tons of plastic waste are found at the bottom of the North Sea alone (Greenpeace). Plastic bags entangle birds which eventually strangled them death as they are unable to free themselves. Sea animals and other marine mammals have mistakenly eaten plastic, which causes their eventual death. According to a study conducted by marine biologist at the University of Kiel in Germany, 93% of the 180 dead birds which has been collected along the German shoreline, has been found to have plastic waste inside their stomachs (Altnau).In Australia, a crocodile named Whitey, which was part of a government wildlife tracking program was found dead and upon autopsy was
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