Save the ocean, recycle the plastic


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Consistent misuse of plastic is causing long-term damage to the earth.

Rayna Christy, Writer

Oceans around the world are being filled with plastic, and in no way is that the fault of the animals. In a study by PEW, a total of 11 million metric tons of plastic is dumped into the ocean annually. Single-use plastic has become popular to use daily, and without sustainable methods of discarding the waste, it ends up in places where it shouldn’t be. However, plastic isn’t dangerous by itself. It is the consistent misuse and the lack of recycling that causes the long-term damage. 

Grocery stores, shopping centers, and even more “sustainable” alternatives, such as thrifting, use plastic shopping bags. The issue arrives when there aren’t options available to return the bags for reuse, or to offer recycling programs on location. These bags end up being discarded improperly, which is when marine life ends up being added to a problem that they were never involved in. There is no set place where the pollution ends up, and without careful watch, it could easily land in oceans. 

Society just has to come together and strive for clean oceans.

Marine animals are not the only ones affected by this issue. Since fish is a popular dish among many people, any plastic consumed by the fish is therefore consumed by us. Although it might be a smaller amount, it still isn’t something most want to become a part of their diet.  

The beach is known to be a popular summer location for people of all ages. Citizens rush to the shore, spending time on the sand and in the sun. With all the time spent there, it isn’t uncommon to pack easily accessible snacks and lunches. The trash from these trips is often forgotten as the day passes, and is left there to be washed back out into the ocean when the tide comes in. If everyone remembered to pick up after themselves, it could make a small, but important, difference in the cause.

The ocean is filled with a variety of different animals, some of which haven’t even been discovered. The animals aren’t the ones polluting the ocean with plastic. With more options for recycling, education about ways to reuse plastic, and overall better disposing options, we could alleviate this issue with time. Society just has to come together and strive for clean oceans, so that people can enjoy the beach for many years to come.