Global Challenges -A school project on plastic pollution in the ocean

A gannet is entangled in a fisher’s net. The birds suffer particularly from the littering of the North Sea. Photo: Jan Stok, The Netherlands.

Already in weekend mode? Need something inspirational to read whilst you pour yourself another cup of hot coffee in this cold February weather? We start this month with the next promised (and slightly delayed) blog entry from the 11th grade English class. This entry focusses on some plastic facts and how plastic affects us and animals now, in the past and in the future.

Ready? When you are!

Blog Entry #2 : In the past

In the past, in the present and in the future, animals die. They die because of the plastic in the ocean. This blog is about the tons of plastic that are in the ocean and that will be in the ocean. In a couple of years there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. If you read this blog and tell your friends about this big problem you will save some animals. Here you will find information about how you can save animals being touched by plastic and some facts about the plastic in the ocean.

We will start with some facts about the plastic in the ocean:

How does all that plastic get into the ocean?

The rubbish from poor countries cannot be recycled because they don’t have the money and don’t know enough about the problem with plastic. They put their rubbish on garbage dumps. Some of them are next to rivers or the ocean. The most plastic gets on this way into the ocean. Another part is some industrial centres. There, garbage flows directly into rivers and oceans together with untreated waste water. Additionally some micro plastic comes from cosmetic products into the waste water, which cannot be filtered sufficiently. The fishing nets are a problem, too. Some fishers throw damaged nets into the ocean because they can’t use them anymore. Another part of the rubbish comes from lost loads or material from ships. Another reason is that people or small companies dump their rubbish illegally into at the ocean. The last source of plastic in the ocean is the catastrophic waste. This is the rubbish that comes into the ocean because of hurricanes, floods and tsunamis.

Which countries dump so much plastic?

On the first rang is China (3.53 million tons per year). On the second place is Indonesia (1.29 million tons per year) and the third one are the Philippines (0.75 million tons per year).

Where is all the plastic?

In the oceans there are five big garbage patches: The North Pacific Gyre, North Atlantic Gyre, South Atlantic Gyre, South Pacific Gyre and the Indian Ocean Gyre.

How many animals die every year because of plastic?

Many animals die because they hang in plastic waste and suffocate. Ca. 1.000.000 seabirds and 100.000 animals that live in the ocean die every year because of the consumption of plastic.

Now I will give you some tips how to you avoid products of plastic:

First you can use organic cosmetics, shampoos and peelings. When you go shopping you can reuse bags and do the same with bottles. You can use bottles more than once. Don’t put your vegetables or fruits in plastic bags and buy your food from local markets or stores. You can live without q-tips, straws and things like this. For school or work you can buy folders out of paper. When you are on the beach or in the nature and you see plastic you can collect it and dump it correctly. When everybody collects three pieces of plastic when he is at the beach it’s would be helpful.

My opinion concerning the plastic in the ocean is that it is horrible that animals die every day because they don’t know what plastic is. They think its food or jellyfish or something else. How should animals know this? They are unknowing and die because we think we have the right to produce plastic and throw it in the ocean or into the nature. In some years the earth will be destroyed if we don’t do something. Our and the following generations will live worse and worse and on one day nobody can live on this earth anymore. No bird, no fish, no animal, no human. We all will die and we should do something that this one day comes not now or in hundred years. We should try to save the world as soon as possible.

If you want the same you can write a comment under this blog and send this to your friends and your family. Do something for the earth and tell everybody how important it is that we do something. All animals and all humans want to live and be and everybody must do something for it.