What a Waste!

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By Kate Butson

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Abstract

Plastic waste is a growing problem in our society ever since plastic was discovered in the oceans in the 1960s. Plastic is tremendously harmful for marine life, the water and air, and even us! Through my project, I researched the effects of plastic waste, and what people around the world are doing to prevent it. To come up with my answer I did lots of research on various government websites, websites of foundations, businesses, and I even used research from another plastic pollution project of mine. I found that plastic kills many marine animals from zooplankton to blue whales. Plastic also releases harmful compounds like BPA into the air when manufactured. Despite the issues, schools, businesses, foundations, and governments are doing their best to stop the spread of plastic pollution. These people don’t have to be the only ones finding solutions, there are simple ways that you can help too! Through my project I hope to raise awareness to this increasing issue, and I hope that it will encourage you to think before you use a piece of disposable plastic. [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyT2FuZEklMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Object and Inquiry

For my project, I decided to study how plastic affects the Earth and mainly what people around the world are doing to prevent plastic pollution. From schools, governments, and businesses, people are working together to save our planet. Throughout my project, I attempted various experiments, and I did lots of research. [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyVG9ySCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRmElM0U=[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]

Thesis

I chose this topic because one of my previous projects involved plastic pollution, and I think it is important to learn about the effects of plastic pollution because we must take care of the planet we live on. [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyUldVJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Research Write Up

What I Know:
For my science fair project, I decided to pursue the question how does plastic waste affect the earth as whole, and how is it being prevented. One of my previous science projects this year was researching whether or not plastic straws killed turtles. From that project, I know that plastic waste greatly affects turtles and even seabirds. I know that a lot of other animals are affected by plastic waste, but I haven’t studied any in particular. I also studied solutions to plastic waste and what companies were doing to prevent plastic waste. In sixth grade a wrote a speech for a competition about plastic waste, and I learned a lot from that as well. I learned that people throw away 8 million metric tons of garbage every year, plastic is not biodegradable, and that Adidas was developing a shoe that could biodegrade in 36 hours. I also know a lot of random facts about my topic. One thing I know from my own research and reading is that there are beaches filled with plastic and even an “island of trash” floating in the ocean.

Research Summary:
Plastic is becoming an increasing problem ever since the 1960s and is harming marine life and humans! Plastic affects many, but countless people across the planet are doing their best to prevent plastic from becoming even more of a problem. Plastic harms marine life such as turtles, zooplankton, and seabirds through entanglement and ingestion. One place animals commonly eat plastic is plastic gyres. There are five across the ocean, and they cover 40% of the world’s oceans. Plastic is also harmful to us even when it isn’t littered. When plastic is made, it releases harmful chemicals into the air and water that cause hormonal problems for animals everywhere. Despite our plastic problem, people around the world are helping to fix it. Schools in the UK are making it their goal to reduce all single-use plastic waste by 2022. Businesses like Coco-Cola, McDonald’s, and Starbucks are working to design more sustainable utensils and drinking bottles. Foundations. Governments are passing laws to help protect are earth from plastic pollution. These people aren’t the only ones that have to help, you can too! It can be as easy as recycling and just simply avoiding disposable plastic. Plastic waste is a difficult problem to solve. With so much plastic waste on this earth no person, school, foundation, business, or government can solve it alone. In order to defeat plastic waste, it will take everyone to pitch in and do their share. So, what will you do to help make the world a more plastic free place to live.

Refined Knowledge and Questions:
Based on my research, I am curious how much it would cost to clean up the ocean of all the plastic waste. I’ve seen varying estimates as to how much it would cost, but not a definitive answer. I am also wondering if there are easier ways the government can start slowly introducing more sustainable practices like recycling. The government could start recycling programs or have it being taught more in schools. I think it’s very important that we search for ways to end plastic waste, and some of these solutions are a start.

Ongoing Research:
If I were to do ongoing research, I would want to give me two experiments and survey another try. It would be interesting to see how many of my classmates could properly recycle, and it would’ve added more to my project. I would also like to research if plastic pollution during the coronavirus is going up or down. I know that the virus is helping air pollution, but what about plastic pollution? [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyVGFuZE0lMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Tools and Materials

  • my computer 
  • my brain 
  • my own plastic waste
  • OneNote

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Procedure and Data

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Journal

2/12/20: I finally decided on my topic today, and I wrote what I know about my topic. I also wrote down some plans for my project.

2/14/20: I wrote some more about what I know in science class today.

2/26/20: Today I worked on gathering some more sources for my research write up that’s due on Monday. I found multiple articles from National Geographic on my topic, I found some helpful information on the Ocean Conservancy website. I found another website and a book that will be useful for my research. I plan on gathering more sources maybe in the future.

3/1/20: I wrote my research writeup today. I haven’t finished my research, so I will have to change my writeup in the future.

3/3/20: I wrote my tools and materials portion of my lab report today. I also wrote down an idea to maybe survey the class to see how many people knew how to recycle properly.

3/6/20: I wrote my thesis today. I also my hypothesis for my experiment that will start in three days. I also started to make my survey. So far I’ve only figured out how many questions I want and how I going to use it in my final project.

3/7/20 – 3/8/20: nothing

3/9/20: Today I wrote my action plan, started one of my experiments, and I continued to make my survey. For my survey, I found a website that I could use to make it called Ecoscraps. For my experiment, I am seeing how much plastic I use in a week, and the following week I will try to go a week without using plastic. Today for my experiment, I used six pieces of plastic.

3/10/20: Continued my experiment on plastic. I used five pieces of plastic today

3/11/20: I continued my experiment today; I used five pieces toady. I’ve noticed that five seems to be around the average pieces of plastic I use every day.

3/12/20: Finished making my survey and continued my experiment. For my survey, I picked ten items and asked if they could be recycled or not. You can either select yes or no. I plan on emailing my survey because my printer is out of ink, and the coronavirus has canceled school for a while. Today on my experiment, I used seven pieces of plastic.

3/13/20: I sent out my science survey today, and I looked at the results. I also started to take notes on my sources. I took notes on the Britannica website on plastic pollution.

3/14/20 – 3/17/20: nothing

3/18/20: I continued to take notes from the Britannica website, and I found some interesting facts for my project, and I got some ideas for my poster.

3/19/20: My survey isn’t working so I think I will try something else. I could maybe survey my family instead, or I could cut the survey out all together

3/20/20: Today, I finished taking notes on the article from Britannica, NRDC, and EPA. I was also able to find a graph that I could put on my poster from the EPA.

3/21/20 – 3/22/20: nothing

3/23/20: I found my research from my first project which relates to this one. I am going to incorporate my research from that project into this one. I also researched what specific places such as schools and businesses are doing to reduce plastic waste. I then decided to organize all the websites into five categories: schools, government, foundations, businesses, and general.

3/24/20 – 3/25/20: Nothing

3/26/20: Today I decided not to do my experiment where I tried to go a week without plastic. I also started my research on the national geographic website. On the website, it gave information on how different countries and states are working together to get rid of single-use plastic. The website also gave other interesting facts like how “single-use” was named the word of the year in 2018

3/27/20 – 3/29/20: nothing

3/30/20: I’ve decided today to work a little bit on my project every day because I haven’t been working on it a ton. I did more on my research on what the foundations around the world are doing to help the plastic problem. Through these websites, I was able to find a few more sources about other companies that are striving to reduce plastic pollution

3/31/20: Today I almost finished all my research on what different places are doing to reduce plastic waste. I finished my research on all the foundations, schools, and businesses. Through some of my websites, I was able to find more foundations. One I found was NextGen Consortium which was founded by Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Closed Loop Partners. They are working to develop a more sustainable and safer for the environment cup. Other companies like Nestle, Wendy’s, Coca-Cola, and other fast-food restaurants have joined in to help their efforts.

4/1/20 – 4/5/20: nothing

4/6/20: I worked on researching some of the laws that protect the oceans and earth from plastic pollution.

4/7/20 – 4/19/20: nothing

4/20/20 – continued research on certain laws to protect marine life from plastic pollution

4/21/20- I finished researching some of the laws that protect the ocean from plastic pollution: The Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act (MDRPRA), Shore Protection Act (SPA), Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA), and The BEACH Act of 2000. I also finished researching ways that you can help with recycling and protecting the environment. I finished my page of research that asks what certain places are doing, so all I need to do is finish researching the problems, and then my research is done, and I can move on to making my website, lab report, etc.

4/22/20-4/23/20- nothing

4/24/20: I finished my research!! Joyous day! I can finally move on to the next step of my project which is my website, lab report, etc.

4/25/20-4/26/20: nothing

4/27/20: I made my annotated bibliography, started my lab report, and I made my abstract

4/28/20: Today I finished my lab report, worked on my research report, and worked on my science fair report, and then I realized I didn’t need a science fair report, so I got rid of it. I am also trying to figure out a good title because I’ve seen a couple already, and they’re pretty good. Alright, I have a title: What a Waste! I think it’s pretty good, but if I come up with something better, I’ll choose it. I also finished my paper

4/29/20: Terrible news… OneDrive was hungry, and it ate my entire paper, so now I have to type the whole thing, again. This is not good considering this is due in two days. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! I have looked everywhere for it, but alas it is gone, so I guess I just have to start typing to finish it.

4/30/20: I finished my paper, and it was late by the time I finished, so I’ll finish up my research report tomorrow. Then I will be done.

4/31/20: Finished up my research report, and I fixed a couple of things around my project. I am finally done! [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyUHJvJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

Procedure

I started my project by writing down various experiments and plans I had for it. I planned two experiments and one survey. I also began gathering sources that I knew of from my previous plastic project such as the Ocean Conservancy and the National Geographic websites. I also originally planned on using a book I had at home, but it proved to be unhelpful in my research. I then began my experiment to see how much plastic I could use in a week, and I created a survey. Sadly, both failed to be successful. In order to work, my experiment needed a follow-up experiment that was prevented due to the coronavirus. My survey was also prevented by the coronavirus. I had to email my survey, but some students never responded, and many of them forgot about it, so I scrapped both experiments and the survey. Without my experiments, I continued to research various websites, and I decided that I wanted my project to be more focused on the efforts to prevent plastic pollution. One thing that helped my research was my previous project. I found all my research from my first science project this year, and I was able to incorporate it into this one. After that, I was able to find a lot of information on different companies and foundations that made great strides to prevent plastic pollution. After I did my research on all my sources, I was done with my research and ready to type it all up for my website. I made my paper, research report, abstract, and I made a little PowerPoint of pictures to accompany my paper. I was done with everything, and then my computer ate my paper, so I was forced to retype the paper and adjust my research writeup. After that, I sent all my work to Mr. Okimoto, and I was finally finished with my science fair project. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyRGFuZEElMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

Research Paper

What a Waste!

              Plastic pollution is a growing problem in our world today. Since the 1960s, more and more plastic has been invading our earth and oceans. In 2014, an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic were found floating near the surface of the ocean.[1] Plastic is found on land, the deepest parts of the ocean and its chemicals can even be found in the air. Plastic kills not only animals, but it kills people as well! With plastic pollution on the rise, schools, governments, foundations, and businesses around the world are determined to do what they can to stop it. In this project, I will be talking about the harmful effects of plastic pollution, and I will be exploring the great strides being made by people around the world to prevent it.

              A major victim of plastic pollution is marine life. Animals are frequently found tangled in plastic or found with plastic inside them. By 2018, scientists discovered more than 114 marine species with microplastic in their organs.,[2] some of these species include zooplankton, sea turtles, and seabirds. These three species immensely harmed by the effects of plastic pollution, and they are some of the most affected animals. The first species, zooplankton, eats microscopic-sized plastics. These microplastics are by the sunlight and water breaking the plastic down into tiny pieces. When zooplankton eat these microplastics, they not only harm themselves, but they harm thousands of other species. Zooplankton are a part of the planktonic food supply, and most marine animals depend on them. Sea turtles, the second species, have gained major attention in the media over the past years. This is due to a video, posted by a marine biologist in 2015, pulling a plastic straw out of a turtle’s nose.[3] This one turtle happened to have aplastic straw in its nose, but most of the time turtles are either trapped in plastic, or they mistake it for a meal. A study conducted by the University of Tokyo found that 17% of the time loggerhead turtles encountered plastic, they ate it, and for green sea turtles, it was 62%.[4] Plastic also collects on beaches where turtles lay their eggs, and this imposes a threat to bay sea turtles who have just hatched. The last species that plastic harms are seabirds, mainly albatross. When swooping down to catch fish, albatross will scoop plastic floating on the surface into their beaks by accident. This plastic can puncture their organs and it leaves no room in their gut for food. Plastic can also cause albatross to choke when regurgitating pellets full of plastic. Scientists are still studying the effect of plastic on birds, but they believe it has played a major factor in the 67% decline from 1950-2010 in the seabird population.[5]

              Plastic also plays a role in polluting water and air. Plastic the gets dumped into the ocean does not usually float by itself. It gathers in five gyres across the ocean, and the gyres cover 40% of the world’s oceans.[6] Animals swimming near the gyres can be seriously harmed, and the gyres pollute the water. The most commonly found items, according to an Ocean Conservancy volunteer cleanup in 2017[7], were cigarette butts, food wrappers, drink bottles, and bottle caps. Plastic can be deadly when it is littered, but it can still be dangerous even when it’s not. When plastic is produced, it releases compounds into the air and water. One pollutant is BPA, and it is commonly found in packaging, bottles, compact discs, medical devices, and food linings. The other pollutant is PBDE, and it acts as a flame retardant for plastic. These compounds are can cause hormonal problems for animals that live in the water and land. Both BPA and PBDE are being studied closely by scientists because they can be harmful to both humans and animals.

              As plastic pollution becomes a bigger issue, people around the world are pitching in to protect the environment. Schools, businesses, governments, and foundations are all doing their part to prevent plastic waste. On December 27, 2018, schools in the UK were urged by the education secretary, Damian Hind, to get rid of single-use plastic waste by 2022. Schools have found it quite simple so far to start slowly removing single-use plastic from their everyday lives. The schools have been making minor changes like using tinfoil as opposed to cling foil and banning plastic straws from cafeterias. Damian Hind says that it’s very important to teach kids to reduce plastic waste, and he says “It’s not always easy but we all have a role to play in driving out avoidable plastic waste, and with more schools joining others and leading by example, we can help to leave our planet in a better state than we found it.”[8]

Schools aren’t the only ones doing their part. Huge companies around the world are stepping in to prevent plastic waste such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Starbucks. Companies like these have a huge impact on our environment with their products and the waste they create. Right now, the Coca-Cola company is developing more sustainable and reusable plastic bottles for their drinks. They’ve been working with the World Without Waste campaign to collect and recycle the same number of bottles it can sell globally by 2030. McDonald’s has also done a lot to reduce its waste. The company has made it a goal by 2025 to have 100% of the packaging they use to be renewable, recyclable, and certified. Recently, McDonald’s has been working with Starbucks and Closed Loop Partners to reduce single-use food packaging around the world, and the project is called the NextGen Cup. The three founders of the project are working to advance the design, commercialization, and reintroduction of food packaging alternatives. Other businesses around the world such as PepsiCo, L’Oréal, and H&M are working with the New Plastic Economy Global Commitment. The NPEGC is a collection of 250 organizations that are responsible for 20% of plastic packaging used globally, and they are committed to reducing plastic waste. Big companies and organizations are setting great examples of how we can reduce waste, and they are showing their customers that they care about the earth.

              Many foundations around the world are a major part of the movement to reduce plastic waste. These foundations have collected donations, done volunteer cleanups, helped with scientific research, and more. One foundation is the Ocean Conservancy. The set out to protect the ocean from worldwide problems, and they help research science-based solutions to help our ocean. The Ocean Conservancy has many programs, and one popular one is the International Coastal Cleanup. They gather millions of volunteers of all ages to help clean coastal waters, and the Ocean Conservancy has been doing this for thirty years. Ocean Conservancy Executive Vice President, Emily Woglom says, “We all have an opportunity to do something that makes the world a better place from wherever we are.”[9] Another foundation is the NRDC. The NRDC makes it their goal to make sure people have the right to have clean air, clean water, and strong communities. The NRDC works with many scientists, lawyers, and advocates that help them address problems such as climate change, ocean health, water quality, and air quality. The NRDC frequently operates through legal action, business, partnership, and science. The NRDC and Ocean Conservancy are both striving to make the world a better and healthier place to live.

              While the Ocean Conservancy and NRDC are major foundation helping the planet, their sole focus is plastic pollution. Some foundations like the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) and Plastic Free July are working to reduce plastic waste on this planet. The AEPW is a group of more the 40 companies that have pledged over 1 billion dollars to end plastic waste around the world. They know that while plastic has greatly helped us in the past, it is becoming a hazard to the environment. The AEPW plans to partner with the government at all levels and bring out new ideas, better develop the way waste is managed, educate kids in schools of the dangers of plastic pollution, come up with technology to reduce plastic waste and make recycling easier, and to clean up plastic that is already harming our earth. Plastic Free July is a foundation based in Australia that is promoting a plastic-free world. Plastic Free July believes that to work toward a plastic-free earth, we need honesty, integrity, to be inclusive of people and new ideas, to focus on offering solutions, working with others, and to know that small changes do make a big difference. Every year, the foundation has a challenge where you can choose to reduce plastic waste in your own life or to completely get rid of it from your life, and you can take this challenge for as long as you like. In July of 2019, around 250 million globally took part in the challenge[10]. Foundations like the AEPW and Plastic-free July are truly helping us to protect our oceans and giving us ways to help.

              Along with schools, businesses, and foundations, the government has played a big role in the reduction of plastic waste. The U.S. has created laws that protect the ocean from pollution and plastic waste such as The Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act (MDRPRA), Shore Protection Act, Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA), and the BEACH Act of 2000. The APPS works to prevent pollution in the air and water that comes from ships. This act helps scientists study the effects of improper plastic disposal, and they research to find ways to eradicate it. Through this act, the EPA, NOAA, and the U.S. Coast Guard help to research the use of volunteer groups to help monitor floating debris. The MDRPRA works to find the source of plastic, identify it, get rid of it, and to prevent marine debris. According to the NOAA, the act requires the program to, “identify, determine sources of, assess, prevent, reduce, and remove marine debris and address the adverse impacts of marine debris on the economy of the United States, marine environment, and navigation safety.” [11] The SPA works to prevent plastic waste that comes from inefficient waste handling that is deposited into coastal waters. Any ship carrying commercial or municipal waste along coastal waters is required to have a permit through this act, and the EPA and U.S. Coast Guard are working to make better government regulations that will help with the transportation of waste. The MPRSA banns the transportation of materials to the U.S. for dumping material into coastal waters. The MPRSA brings to mind the fact that dumping materials in the ocean will “unreasonably degrade or endanger”[12] humans, welfare, or marine life. The last law, The BEACH Act of 2000 was created to prevent the hazard of disease for people who use recreational water such as beaches or lakes. This act implements programs that help monitor plastic waste and debris floating in recreational waters and cleans them.

              So many people around the world are setting great examples for how we can learn to keep our earth clean. There are easy ways we can learn to follow their ways and do our part to reduce plastic waste.  A simple way to reduce plastic waste is to just avoid using disposable plastic. This means ditching plastic water bottles, using reusable grocery bags, and use Tupperware instead of plastic bags. A second easy, but very important, way is to start recycling more. It is difficult to learn how and what to recycle, but once you learn, it can be easy. At school, you can reuse supplies and use a reusable lunchbox and at work, you can use a computer instead of making hard copies, use paper clips over staples, and reuse office supplies. It may seem simple, but many Americans today are confused about how to recycle certain items, and this can cause issues where waste is disposed of. In 2017, 35.4 million tons of plastic were generated in America, but only 3 million tons of it was recycled. Most trash, and recyclable products, end up in landfills which are harmful to the environment. Another great way to reduce plastic waste is to volunteer in coastal cleanups. Several foundations, like the Ocean Conservancy, will hold events for people to help and clean up plastic waste. These foundations also have other programs, so you can do your part in helping the environment.

              Plastic waste is a difficult problem to solve. With so much plastic waste on this earth no person, school, foundation, business, or government can solve it alone. To defeat plastic waste, it will take everyone to pitch in and do their share. So, what will you do to help make the world a more plastic-free place to live.


[1] Moore, Charles. “Plastic Pollution in Oceans and on Land.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, inc., February 13, 2020. https://www.britannica.com/science/plastic-pollution/Plastic-pollution-in-oceans-and-on-land.

[2] ibid

[3] Figgener, Christine. “Sea Turtle with Straw up its Nostril – ‘NO’ TO PLASTIC STRAWS”. YouTube video, 8:06. Posted [August 10, 2015]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wH878t78bw

[4] “Plastic in Our Oceans Is Killing Marine Mammals.” WWF. Accessed 2019. https://www.wwf.org.au/news/blogs/what-do-sea-turtles-eat-unfortunately-plastic-bags#gs.9yxu7d.

[5] Parker, Laura. “Nearly Every Seabird on Earth Is Eating Plastic.” National Geographic, September 2, 2015. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/09/15092-plastic-seabirds-albatross-australia/.

[6] Moore, Charles. “Plastic Pollution in Oceans and on Land.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, inc., February 13, 2020. https://www.britannica.com/science/plastic-pollution/Plastic-pollution-in-oceans-and-on-land.

[7] Chow, Lorraine. “10 Most Common Types of Beach Litter Are All Plastic.” EcoWatch. EcoWatch, December 18, 2019. https://www.ecowatch.com/beach-litter-plastics-ocean-conservancy-2581760475.html.

[8] Education, Department for. “Schools Challenged to Go Single-Use Plastic Free by 2022.” GOV.UK. GOV.UK, December 27, 2018. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/schools-challenged-to-go-single-use-plastic-free-by-2022.

[9]Sullivan, Cody, Sarah Kollar, Robyn Stegman, Chris Robbins, and Janis Searles Jones. “Ocean Conservancy.” Ocean Conservancy, April 24, 2020. https://oceanconservancy.org/.

[10] “Be Part of the Solution.” Plastic Free July. Accessed April 2020. https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/.

[11] Leah.henry. “The Marine Debris Act: OR&R’s Marine Debris Program.” leah.henry, July 9, 2013. https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/about-our-program/marine-debris-act.

[12] “Laws That Protect Our Oceans.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, June 26, 2018. https://www.epa.gov/beach-tech/laws-protect-our-oceans.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyUmFuZEMlMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Results and Conclusion

Through my research, I found that plastic harms the ocean greatly, especially the creatures that live in it. Animals eat plastic, get stuck in, or get hurt by it. Many products also end up in the ocean such as plastic grocery bags, plastic straws, and microbeads from certain kinds of toothpaste, but there are many places around the world making efforts to prevent plastic pollution. I learned that schools are making minor changes in the cafeteria systems and teaching students about the consequences of plastic waste. Big companies including Coca-Cola Company, Starbucks, and McDonald’s are developing more eco-friendly cups and utensils. Governments around the world are passing laws to protect the oceans from harmful plastic material that could hurt marine ecosystems. I learned about various foundations that have been set up to raise awareness of plastic pollution and help efforts to reduce it. I also learned that it’s easy to do your part in preventing plastic waste.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIySWFuZFIlMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Insights and Reflections

Through my research, I wondered why plastic pollution isn’t more of a concern to people. Plastic pollution is leading to the death of many species across the planet, and it is causing the environment harm. Despite this, it is not the main focus of people. It reminds me of climate change in the way that people are aware of its existence but fail to help solve the issue. Many big companies, such as Starbucks and McDonalds, are setting great examples of what can be done to help our environment, and more people and companies can learn and realize there are many ways to prevent plastic pollution.

One thing that made my research project hard, was the coronavirus. I had two experiments and one survey planned which were both derailed by the virus. With my survey and experiment, I would’ve been able to add a more personal touch to the project, and I would’ve been able to provide more visuals such as a graph. Another thing that made specifically hard was that my computer decided to eat it two days before the paper was due. I spent awhile rewriting it, and it was a minor setback, but overall I am proud of my project and the research I did to make it. [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyQmliJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Bibliography

“’A Line in the Sand’ – Ellen MacArthur Foundation Launches New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to Eliminate Plastic Waste at Source.” Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Accessed April 2020. https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/news/a-line-in-the-sand-ellen-macarthur-foundation-launch-global-commitment-to-eliminate-plastic-pollution-at-the-source.

– This is a primary source in what places are doing to prevent plastic waste, and this is a trusted foundation

“Be Part of the Solution.” Plastic Free July. Accessed April 2020. https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/.

– This is a primary source in what foundations are doing to prevent plastic waste, and this is a trusted foundation

Chow, Lorraine. “10 Most Common Types of Beach Litter Are All Plastic.” EcoWatch. EcoWatch, December 18, 2019. https://www.ecowatch.com/beach-litter-plastics-ocean-conservancy-2581760475.html.

– This source is reliable because it comes from the Ocean Conservancy which is at trusted foundation

Education, Department for. “Schools Challenged to Go Single-Use Plastic Free by 2022.” GOV.UK. GOV.UK, December 27, 2018. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/schools-challenged-to-go-single-use-plastic-free-by-2022.

– This is reliable because it’s a government website

EPA. Environmental Protection Agency. Accessed March 2020. https://www.epa.gov/.

– This is reliable because it is a government website

Howard, Brian Clark. “A Running List of Action on Plastic Pollution.” National Geographic, June 10, 2019. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/07/ocean-plastic-pollution-solutions/.

– This is reliable because National Geographic is a trusted organization

Leah.henry. “The Marine Debris Act: OR&R’s Marine Debris Program.” leah.henry, July 9, 2013. https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/about-our-program/marine-debris-act.

– This is reliable because it is a government website

Moore, Charles. “Plastic Pollution in Oceans and on Land.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., February 13, 2020. https://www.britannica.com/science/plastic-pollution/Plastic-pollution-in-oceans-and-on-land.

– This is reliable because the Encyclopedia Britannica is a trusted website

“NextGenCup.” NextGenCup. Accessed April 2020. https://www.nextgenconsortium.com/.

– This source is reliable because it was created by trusted companies: Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Closed Loop Partners. This is also a primary source for what places are doing

“NRDC.” NRDC. Accessed March 2020. https://www.nrdc.org/.

– This source is reliable because the NRDC is a trusted foundation and it is a primary source for what places are doing

Parker, Laura. “Nearly Every Seabird on Earth Is Eating Plastic.” National Geographic, September 2, 2015. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/09/15092-plastic-seabirds-albatross-australia/.

– This source is reliable because the National Geographic is a trusted organization

“Plastic in Our Oceans Is Killing Marine Mammals.” WWF. Accessed 2019. https://www.wwf.org.au/news/blogs/what-do-sea-turtles-eat-unfortunately-plastic-bags#gs.9yxu7d.

– This source is reliable because it comes from the WWF which is a trusted organization

Snapolitano. “Companies Working to Reduce Single-Use Plastics.” U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, January 10, 2019. https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/blog/post/companies-working-reduce-single-use-plastics.

– This source is reliable because the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a trusted organization

Sullivan, Cody, Sarah Kollar, Robyn Stegman, Chris Robbins, and Janis Searles Jones. “Ocean Conservancy.” Ocean Conservancy, April 24, 2020. https://oceanconservancy.org/.

– This source is reliable because the Ocean Conservancy is a trusted foundation, it is a primary source for what is being done to help

“WE FORGE AHEAD.” acc. Accessed March 2020. https://endplasticwaste.org/.

– This source is reliable because it is a trusted foundation, and it it a primary source for what is being done to help

“Why Are There Still Plastic Bags at the Grocery Store?” Heal the Bay, July 24, 2017. https://healthebay.org/still-plastic-bags-grocery-store/.

– This source is reliable because Heal the Bay is a trusted organization

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