Plastic, Pollution & Our planet
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Plastic, Pollution & Our planet

In case you were curious if that plastic straw you grab at the drive through really makes a difference.

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Plastic, Pollution & Our planet
Taken by: Ciara Gorby

There is the lingering question that is circling our society today asking why one individual should be aware and care about the ecosystem that is our earth. The question revolves around the idea that one single person cannot make a singular difference when it comes to saving the planet. Well, here are some undeniable facts to get you thinking:

Every person does matter.

If every single person has the attitude that there is nothing that their one person can do to contribute to a healthier environment, nothing will ever be accomplished, correct? Now flip that idea. What if everyone DID think that they mattered? What if every person has a similarly positive attitude about their contributions to being eco-friendly? Maybe when you decided to stop purchasing water bottles and started using only reusable, your sibling thought it was a good idea too. Then maybe your parents join in, and maybe their friend join, and their kids, and their kids' kids. As a community, we could do wonders.

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Plastic is detrimental.

Plastic waste is something we abuse and refuse to address on a daily basis. According to a fact sheet, written by Earth Day Network, there are over eight million metric tons of plastic that is added to the five main plastic islands (that we have created, by the way) that float around our planet's oceans (EDN, 2018). The numbers are staggering and state that somewhere around an entire garbage truck, composed of plastic alone, is being dumped into our ocean every single minute (EDN, 2018). EVERY MINUTE. Let me reiterate that…. An entire garbage truck, composed of plastic, into the ocean, 1,440 times A DAY.

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Do you like sushi?

I'm not sure about you but fish is a large proponent of my diet. Fish is high in vitamins and oils that help to create a healthy lifestyle and eliminate the need for red meats and an unprecedented amount of chicken. Now obviously we don't eat all types of ocean wildlife but some of the most popular fish to eat, caught wild, including brown trout and perch, have eaten plastic at one point in their lives (EDN, 2018). According to another article, written by One Green Planet, explains how "700 marine species are being threatened with extinction due to ingestion, entanglement, and pollution" (One Green Planet, 2017). With that being said, it's assumed that if we follow the same trends the plastic to fish ratio will be 1:3 by 2025 and by 2050 there will be more plastic in our ocean than fish (One Green Planet, 2017). So, if you can't do it for the ecosystem, do it for yourself... everyone loves a good sushi roll.

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How can we help?

Like I've stated above: every person matters. Every voice counts. You can help by educating yourself and educating your peers. Going to trustworthy sources to obtain information is important. You can start small. If you're a Starbucks fanatic and cannot bear to survive the day without your hot caramel macchiato with almond milk BUY A REUSABLE CUP (you can buy a stainless steel one for around 15 dollars on amazon). Follow the movement on banning plastic straws. Recycle. It is noted that only somewhere around 14% of plastic packaging is recycled and only 5% of that is retained for subsequent use (One Green Planet, 2017). And finally, share this to help your friends become aware. The time for change is now and we cannot afford to keep ignoring the problem.

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References and some websites to check out for more info:

- https://www.earthday.org/2018/04/05/fact-sheet-pla...

- http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/there-wi...

-http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/simple-a...

- http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6374/460

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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