Plastics

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From the time we hit our plastic alarm clock in the morning until the time we squeeze tooth paste out of its plastic sleeve onto our plastic tooth brush when we go to bed, we are surrounded by plastic. Our food is packaged in it, our children play with toys made from it, we talk on plastic cell phones, and we sit on chairs of plastic at work writing with plastic pens, drinking from plastic water bottles. Plastic is everywhere. Where does all this plastic end up? It does not just disappear when we throw it away into our (plastic) garbage bins (lined with plastic bags). Much of it piles up in landfills; however, we have allowed some plastics to filter into the ocean where it has accumulated into a giant water saturated mountain of plastic trash. And this mass accumulation of garbage is wreaking havoc on delicate salt water ecosystems.Although it has made life easier, overuse of plastic causes a serious pollution problem because it collects in the ocean, is consumed by oceanic life, and deposits onto beaches worldwide. Plastic is collecting in the ocean. In fact, so much has collected in a specific area that it has been given a name “The Pacific Garbage Patch”. The Pacific Garbage Patch was first discovered in 1997 by a seaman, Captain Charles Moore. Captain Moore was navigating his boat through a shortcut from Hawaii to the US when he came upon a large span of floating garbage. The garbage was largely composed of plastic pieces, which later research demonstrated to be broken down from larger bits of household plastic goods. All this plastic we are using is finding its way into the ocean where it is breaking up into smaller pieces which are then swept together by ocean currents. The middle of the ocean is not the only place plastic can be found where it shouldn’t be- it is also being found in the bellies of fish. Oceanic life is consuming the plastic waste. The pieces which flow towards current pockets become trapped and turned about until eventually...
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