Effects of Plastic and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Topics: Waste management, Recycling, Waste Pages: 2 (750 words) Published: December 5, 2010
Persuasive Essay
Got trash? Trash is a worldwide problem we do not think about; it impacts our lives continuously by compromising people’s health, wildlife, and the environment. Every individual has the responsibility to get involved, take simple steps conducive to minimize the amount of trash created and work with the community to educate younger generations, and with organizations to develop a long-term plan to prevent further damage to health, wildlife and environment. Based on the 2008 Environmental Protection Agency report Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Generation, Recycling, and Disposal, every American produces 4.5 pounds of waste a day; however, only 1.5 pounds are recycled. This translates in 250 million tons and 83 million tons recycled and composted (EPA, 2008, p. 1). Most of the garbage humans produce ends up in landfills and although they have mechanisms in place to avoid contamination, it is quite possible that it will still happen because trash creates different gases and liquids such as methane, which can contaminate the underground water, soil, and air. These landfills are around the community you and your family live in and one of the short-term detriments is that it depreciates homes’ value. Furthermore, there are five “islands of trash” around the globe and in the ocean, they consist mostly of plastic and it affects the marine life and other animals because they confuse plastic with prey. The Pacific Trash Vortex is situated between San Francisco and Hawaii and it is said to weigh 3.5 million tons. Through a process called biological magnification, the toxins we add to the ecosystem such as the ocean, become more concentrated through the food web and it affects top carnivores (humans) most significantly (Campbell, Reece & Simon, 2007). It is possible that the fish you eat had eaten plastic, ergo; you may be consuming trash or toxins. Presently, there are different ways to address the waste problem; the most effective method is source reduction,...
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