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Plastic needs to stop.

I seem to be writing responses about plastic quite frequently. I've done some research on my own about the problems of plastic in the world and keep seeing the more devastating consequences of plastic rather than the good. It is said in the article between California and Hawaii, there's been plastic build up of 16x higher than before. Not only that, in the ocean there's approximately 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic; that is just absurd. Over the years, plastic has just been building up more and more. I think people have a mindset that once you throw something on the ground or in this case, the ocean, it'll just disappear magically or decompose quickly. They don't think that once they throw it, they may be killing an animal, or even a person. The more we trash the oceans, we lose an aspect of life. I watched a video the other day of a tortoise that had a plastic straw up it's nose for a long time and the process of removing it was just saddening to see. I also watched a documentary on a river called 'Citarum River' and almost all of it is covered in the town's trash, most of it being plastic. The villagers have to bathe and drink the water of the river and in turn caused problems like skin rashes as well as consuming mercury and led. I'll leave a link to these videos at the end. As said in the article, 99.9% of the debris in the ocean was plastics including fishnets, bottles, etc. "Fifty items in the sample had a readable production date: one from 1977, seven from the 1980s, 17 from the 1990s, 24 from the 2000s and one from 2010," showing how plastics can't just 'disappear' once thrown in the ocean. I hope that one day we can and will get rid of this plastic problem, however it seems like an unrealistic wish, since many people still don't know what they're doing to our planet. This needs to stop, and soon.

Plastic straw stuck in tortoise's nose:
Citarum river:
Although it is important to recognize the buildup of plastic in the ocean, it is equally as important to address the means required to prevent additional environmental damage. Yes, marine pollution rates have increased due to a spike in plastic usage and production, but preventing the manufacturing of plastic entirely is unreasonable when common household items are made of plastic. It is also critical to note that despite attempts to recycle and re-use plastic items, these efforts are becoming less and less effective as there are not enough individuals that recycle to make a substantial difference to pollution rates. Only 9% of plastic waste is recycled worldwide, meaning that the remainder of plastic that is not combusted is discarded as waste. If we cannot undo the damage we have done to earth and our attempt to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean is beginning to prove itself unsuccessful, my question is: how are we as a global community going to prevent ocean pollution rates from rising? What steps do we need to take to stop contaminating aquatic ecosystems? Can manufacturers reduce the plastic they use and discard? Are there other materials similar to plastic that are easier to biodegrade and will not damage aquatic ecosystems as severely? Society should consider how their plastic disposal habits have impacted the ocean and the ways we can address this global issue to prevent further pollution.
It's sad to see how many people are ignorant of the fact that discarding plastic on the ground or in a body of water such as the aforementioned ocean will have profound negative effects on the environment or marine. On the same level however, the people such as myself who complain about these hazardous actions of dumping plastics wherever one wants are the same ones who go on a walk for example, notice a piece of plastic on the sidewalk and casually ignore its presence or kick it out of the way. It's easy to put the blame on other folks who in their inconvenience, decided to leave a piece of plastic on the ground which would then be blown into water by the wind, but we need to take in to account that we aren't doing anything about it. It's as if a kid at your school was being bullied and pushed around and instead of aiming to stop the oppression, you watch him get bullied and pity him for his misfortunes. If there is "1.8 trillion pieces of plastic" in the ocean, then we can assume that a similar number of plastic is on land, meaning that there is lots of plastic that we can pick up and relocate to the nearest trash can. If you're going on a walk, take a rubber glove with you and pick up whatever garbage you find and throw it in the garbage can. It doesn't take much, but if we collectively remove the amount of plastic in our communities, cities and in our world, then we can truly get plastic to stop. :-)

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