Plastic Pollution Essay

1551 WordsMay 3, 20127 Pages
Background The overuse of plastics in today's society has become major environmental issue for our oceans. Plastic pollution is the dumping, littering, or disposing of any type of man-made plastic that has been produced and has ended up in our ocean and has not been recycled. History of Plastic "Plastic" entered the world through chemistry in 1909 and was originally coined to describe Bakelite, the first fully synthetic resin. What make's plastic so unique is when it is heated it can be molded but it retained its shape when cooled (Reddy, 2010). The modern plastic bag was not possible until the accidental discovery of the first industrially practical method of polyethylene synthesis in 1933. Fast forward to today, the use and…show more content…
Web. 28 Mar 2012. overwhelmed by excessive rain, then those floating objects can float right out to sea. This is precisely what happened on the New York and New Jersey beaches in 1988, when medical waste was floating up onshore. That year had a extremely dry spring, as litter began accumulating on the streets and in storm sewers, heavy rains arrived in mid-summer and overloaded the sewer system. After floating out to sea, the debris was blown back onto the shores from tides and currents. Effects on Marine Animals These seals often play with fragments of plastic netting or packing straps, and end up catching their necks in the webbing. The plastic harness can constrict the seal's movements, killing the seal through starvation, exhaustion, or infection from deep wounds caused by the tightening material. While diving for food, both seals and whales can get caught in transparent nets and drown. In the fall of 1982, a humpback whale was tangled in 50 to 100 feet of net and washed up on a Cape Cod beach. (Wohi, 1994) It was starving and its ribs were showing, the whale died within a couple of hours. Along Florida's coasts, brown pelicans diving for fish sometimes dive for the bait on a fisherman's line. Cutting the bird loose only makes the problem worse, as the pelican gets its wings and feet tangled in "Plastics in Our Oceans." Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (1994): n.pag. Web. 28 Mar 2012. the line, or gets snagged onto a tree. Plastic soda rings,

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