The Wakefield Chieftain

Plastics Are Choking Our Oceans to Death

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Plastics Are Choking Our Oceans to Death

Photo found @Bradford_TandA

Photo found @Bradford_TandA

Photo found @Bradford_TandA

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Plastic, something we all use on a daily basis. Plastic may seem like a necessity for our world, but it can be deadly. There are endless pictures and videos of our oceans filled with trash. The sad truth is we all see it, but not enough of us care about it. Now, it seems like it is too big to come back from.

If you look at our oceans, they pretty much look like a landfill. According to oilprice.com, “Americans throw away over 30 million tons of plastic every year, of which only about 25 percent is recycled. The rest goes to landfills. Unfortunately, the largest ‘landfill‘ on Earth is actually in the North Pacific Ocean. The ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ is estimated to be anywhere from 3,100 square miles to twice the size of Texas.”

It’s not just about what we see on the surface. Way out in the deep and beautiful sea are where some of the most beautiful creatures alive like turtles, orcas, seals, and so much more. With all the supposed love we have for them, we don’t act like it. We are supposed to support life, not kill it.

The thing about plastic is that it doesn’t dissolve. So when it’s in the ocean, animals confuse it for food and end up swallowing it, causing it to get stuck in their throat and choke them, or just take up permanent residence in their stomachs, which eventually kills them. Even more horrifying, when plastic weakens and breaks into smaller pieces, the animals see them and eat them. These are Microplastics filled with toxic chemicals that will potentially affect reproduction. Not only that, these Microplastics don’t kill the creature instantly, they will suffer for months to years. It also gets in our food and water supply, so we end up eating it, too.

There are many programs set up to help preserve marine life, but it’s not just up to them to help.

It has to be all of us. 

Start caring.

Use reusable cups and straws. Make sure you cut soda six-pack holders to prevent animals from getting stuck and choking. Make sure you recycle and tell your friends when you go out to eat, skip the straw. Start acting like you love the world you live in.

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About the Writer
Kimberly Rendon '20, Opinions Editor

Hi, I'm Kimberly this is my third year on The Chieftain! I enjoy writing poetry and listening to music. I love eating junk food and going on random car...

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Plastics Are Choking Our Oceans to Death