The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Essay

1019 Words 5 Pages
Plastic
If you look around your house right now, I can almost guarantee that you will see plastic somewhere. It’s used in just about everything nowadays, from your toothbrush, to the clothes on your back. In fact, without plastic life today probably wouldn’t even be possible for most of us. Plastic seems like such a great material; its strong and very durable, but it’s these traits that make plastic so harmful. Plastic to our knowledge does not biodegrade; and since nowadays it’s one of the most common materials used by man this poses a huge problem.
Plastic makes up approximately 13 percent of the municipal waste stream in America, a dramatic increase from the less than one percent in 1960 (EPA). Having so much plastic waste makes one
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What's more, 80 percent of the plastic waste comes from the land (Cho). It gets there by many different ways. Whether from illegal waste dumping in the ocean, by leaking into storm drains then through rivers and out the ocean, or even accidental spillage of plastic pellets from manufacturers, plastic ends up in the ocean. The most common types of plastic waste in the ocean are disposable items like plastic bags, food containers, cigarettes, bottle caps, and bottles. There are many more different types of plastic waste in the ocean as well though.
There are seven main different types of plastic used for recycling. 1 Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), 2 High-density Polyethylene (HDPE), 3 Vinyl, 4 Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE), 5 Polypropylene (PP), 6 Polystyrene (PS), and 7 Mixed Plastics (other) (EPA). You may of noticed a number on the bottom of your water bottle or plastic container, that number simply corresponds with the type of plastic (above) the object is made out of. HDPE, LDPE, and PP are all found floating on the surface of the ocean because they are less dense than seawater. PET, PVC, and PS on the other hand are not found on the surface because these plastics are more dense than seawater and sink. Plastic found on the surface is eaten by seabirds, surface dwelling fish, and other types of life. The plastic that sinks is eaten by bottom feeding fish, sea turtles, and many more creatures. Plastic pollution affects not only the environment but also

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