The Impact of Trash on the Enviroment
Nathalie Aubrey Chambers
Each year 100 million sea mammals die because of either getting tangled up in trash or ingesting plastics. Most of this comes from people dumping it into the water on purpose or dropping it on the ground. There are also many different places on Earth where the water flow is swamped in plastic because people don't have a proper place to dispose of it. But we can stop this if each and every person each day picks up at least five pieces of trash we can make the world a much cleaner place than it already is. Every day, people should pick up trash in their community before it finds a way into waterways and ends up in the ocean. When they drop trash on the ground it can kill wildlife.
When you throw away trash or drop it on a beach it will either stay there forever or someone will pick it up and throw it away. Even if someone throws that piece of trash it away, it won't be gone forever. It might be recycled and made into something new, like a water bottle or plastic wrap, or it will get blown out of the trash can and onto the ground because the lid was not on. Every single piece of plastic that was made on that planet is still here, in one form or another. It could be fully intact, but it could also be broken up into deadly confetti-like pieces. Most of this trash is plastic, and is very harmful to the environment because it is not able to be broken down easily. All of this trash is sitting in a landfill or floating around in the ocean. A National Geographic article says that 40 percent of plastic is used only once, and then thrown away. More than 6.9 billion tons of trash has become waste. Of that waste, a staggering 6.3 billion tons never made it to a recycling bin.
If you ever have a day on the beach, you might accidentally walk away with a couple pieces of trash still sitting there on the sand. When this happens, it might get blown into the ocean. A good example of this is shown by the organization 4Ocean. They make videos of taking giant nets to the water and coming out with them full of trash. During one of their big beach cleanups they collected 9 cigarette butts, 15 toothbrushes, 65 buoys, 68 plastic/styrofoam cups, 103 plastic straws, 135 plastic cutlery, 140 plastic bags, 603 water bottles, and 2653 bottle caps this is a staggering amount of over 3791 pieces of trash. But if everyone picked up trash each day the world would be much cleaner.
People used to think that when they would drop some trash on the ground someone else would come and pick it up so they would not have to. People will go and clean up beaches because they are so dirty because people have dropped so much trash on it over the many years. The problem is that so much of this trash has made it to the oceans waters that there are many different patches of trash just floating out in the water that will clump up and stay there for years. The biggest one of these patches is called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and some scientists say that it is twice the size of Texas.
Each day, somebody should go around their community and pick up some trash. It could be 5 pieces or it could be even more, but when they do this they make sure that it will not get into a local water way and kill wildlife. So when you drop or leave some trash on a beach it could end up in the water. It could also float into one of the big garbage patches in the water. Also, before you use something with plastic think of where it will end up before you throw it away or use it. So next time you see a piece of trash on the ground pick it up because you will never know what animal you could have just saved.