Plastic in Our Oceans
46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile make up 90% of our ocean’s trash accumulation (Nichol, 2012, Plastics, like Diamonds, are forever, para. 1). Within the areas, many animals will either ingest, become entangled in, or even die due to the high plastic amounts. Nearly 267 species are harmed by plastic (Nichol, 2012, Fast Facts). With such deadly effects due to yearly accumulation, the banning of plastic bags and reduction of usage in a household will improve overall health and maintain our biodiversity.
Over one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals suffer from plastic entanglement or ingestion (Nichol, 2012, Plastics, like Diamonds, are forever, para. 3). The University of Califronia- San Diego (2012) reported that fish in the North Pacific ingest 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic each year (para. 6). These plastics cause intestinal injury and death. Sea turtles ingest plastic and experience blockage in the gut, ulceration, internal perforation, and death. Loggerhead Sea Turtles have been found with soft plastic ropes. They also have deformed shells due to suffocation. Sea birds ingest plastic, which reduces the stomach volume and leads to starvation. When viewing dead Albatross chicks, 97.5% have plastic in their stomach ( (Fischetty, 2011 1). Mammals are also greatly affected. 400,000 fur seals die due to entanglement and a one of the most disturbing, a Gray Whale beached with over 20 plastic bags in its stomach (Todd David, 2011).
Obesity, infertility, and depression have all been linked to plastic pollution. Endocrine disrupters such as Bisphenol A are key monomers in plastic production (Stanton, 2009). These have been linked to affects on fat cells, which can lead to obesity. They have also found estrogen-mimicking effects that can affect a newborn babies brain and sexual organ development. Phthalates have also been linked to abnormal male...
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