This is a submission from our Leaders 4SC Middle School Camp.

Say No to Plastics

Although some may argue that using plastic is practical and makes our everyday life easier, using single use plastics can harm us, the environment and the animals in our world. 

 Using plastic can harm many animals around us.  According to the United Nations, about 800 species are affected by debris that end up in the ocean. 3 million metric tons of plastic ends up in the ocean each year, that’s equivalent to a garbage truck’s loads worth every minute. These poor animals are dying by the minute , and we need to help them.

You may not care about these animals, but if you are a meat or fish eater, you should be concerned, the plastics that the animals eat, stay in their gut and although you don’t see them, the micro plastics are there, and you could be digesting them.

Single use plastics affect the environment as well.  It pollutes forests, cities, and oceans.  According to the The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an island completely made of used plastic debris and mostly made of tiny plastics called micro plastics  in the north-central Pacific Ocean.  It is 1.6  million square kilometers, that is three times the size of France!   Trash is harming our world, and it will eventually make the earth unlivable, unless we turn this crisis around.

Using plastics and harming the environment, just runs right back to us humans.  The micro plastics ends up in fish and meat that we eat and according to, “Plastic microparticles are getting into the flesh of fish eaten by humans, according to a new study.”

A team of scientists from Malaysia and France discovered a total of 36 tiny pieces of plastic in the bodies of 120 mackerel, anchovies, mullets and croakers.” Plastic  also ends up on the beaches that we love to swim and hangout on, making our time there less enjoyable.  If you help prevent this crisis, you will be benefiting our earth, the animals on it as well as you and everyone you know. 

One reason why people might disagree, and think that we should continue using plastics, is because it can make our everyday life easy. “Plastic’s lightweight, strength, and ability to be molded into any form makes it an ideal packaging material. Rigid plastic keeps fragile items secure and flexible plastic makes easy-to-carry bags. Plastic is used for food and non-food packaging.” Says the NN,  “Foods stay fresh longer when packed in plastic, which reduces waste by reducing the amount of spoiled food that must be discarded and decreases the amount of preservatives needed to keep food fresh”.  It may seem harmless using one sushi package, or a few plastic bags when shopping, it adds up.  1 billion plastic bags are used in America, per year. Most of it goes into landfills, the ocean, or on our earth.  

Written by Leaders 4SC 2020 Student, Sarah G.