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Boerger, Christiana M., Gwendolyn L. Lattin, Shelly L. Moore, and Charles J. Moore, “Plastic Ingestion by Planktivorous Fishes in the North Pacific Central Gyre,” Marine pollution bulletin 60, no. 12 (2010): 2275-2278.
The history of plastics according to this paper dates back to the mid-1800 when humans started using natural products with plastic characteristics such as chewing gum. Later it was modified by use of chemicals on naturally occurring substances to produce materials such as rubber. The earliest invention of plastics was made by Alexander Parkes who through laboratory experiments and projects came up with the first plastic which was known as celluloid, but he named it Parkesine.
From then, other scientists such as Leo Baekeland worked towards producing more chained plastic products as he created Bakelite which was a significant achievement as it was the first real synthetic plastic produced in large amounts.
The idea of polymerization which leads to the production of the most common plastic i.e. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) first came into realization between 1838-1872.From these time on humans grew interested in the use of plastics to the present day.
The paper states that plastic is a non-bio-degradable compound harbors more threat to marine life and activities at large. Marine animals can ingest plastic disposed of in the sea where ingested plastics may block their digestive tracts and eventually lead to their death. The article points out that the other effect that plastic has on these helpless animals is that they can get entangled in the plastic thus get drowned, their capacity to feed or escape from their predators compromised, and get wounded from attached plastic particles. In severe cases like the North Pacific Ocean situation, plastic pollution leads to a reduction in public safety at the environment which eventually proofs costly to the tourism and fisheries sector of the country as outlined in the paper.Information in this article clearly outlines the impact of plastic on the marine environment and clearly brings out valuable knowledge to the public on the awareness of plastic effects and need to control their use.
National Geographic.Why North Pacific Ocean is the most polluted ocean as retrieved from. (2014).
This paper points out that Pacific ocean being the largest ocean in the world and touching several continents is partly a reason as to why it falls on the most polluted sea. Again it ‘houses’ the Great Pacific Garbage Patch where there are about 3.5 million tons of trash in the patch piled up in the water, with the main reason being that plastic is the hardest material to be destroyed.
Law, Kara Lavender, Skye Morét-Ferguson, Nikolai A. Maximenko, Giora Proskurowski, Emily E. Peacock, Jan Hafner, and Christopher M. Reddy, “Plastic Accumulation in the North Atlantic Subtropical gyre,” Science 329, no. 5996 (2010): 1185-1188.
This paper shows that plastic is non-biodegradable, and humans prefer it to other materials after which they just throw the plastic in the ocean.
Nearly 80 percent of this pollution originates from the plastic used on land. It is estimated that 1/5 of the pollution in the Pacific Ocean originates from ships at sea either purposefully or accidentally dumping waste or cargo in there. The paper further explains and educates on the reasons as to why the North Pacific Ocean is the most polluted.
The paper starts by pointing out that Plastic must never be burnt and that we should always recycle used plastic as burning plastic comes with health and environmental damages. It rightly states that when plastic is burnt, carbon monoxide which is a well-known harmful gas is one of the main products together with dioxin which is a toxic organic chemical that contains chlorine and when inhaled or got into contact with its fumes may lead to many deadly results. Another dangerous product as outlined by the paper review is Furan. It is a by-product of burning plastic, and it is a chemical compound linked to cancer and other serious respiratory diseases. Burning plastic increases the production and emission of greenhouse gasses which eventually leads to global warming which is a dangerous situation the world can be in as stated in.
Linak, William P., Jeffrey V. Ryan, Erica Perry, Ron W. Williams, and David M. DeMarini, “Chemical and Biological Characterization of Products of Incomplete Combustion from the Simulated Field Burning of Agricultural Plastic,” JAPCA 39, no. 6 (1989): 836-846.
The paper states that burning of plastic leads to pollution ranging from air pollution which is the main one as it affects not only those who are burning it but their neighbors too. Soil contamination when the ashes from burning plastic get into the ground and interfere with ph thus serious soil problems.
Water pollution is brought by burning of plastic which affects both dry land and marine life. The disadvantages of burning plastic as justified by these papers are severe that we must not encourage it anytime soon. Research and information from this paper show the dangers associated with burning of plastics as it creates awareness on the same.
This paper points out that the most efficient and easier way to reduce plastic and thus pollution is by recycling the used plastics. The two scholars further note that this will ensure no production of more plastics. The other method that the paper points out that can be used to reduce plastics and has been tried in various countries such as Rwanda is by the government coming up with a policy that bars the use of plastic bags as package materials. It will reduce to an extent the amount of plastic in production.
The main ways of reducing plastic use are through self-policing. We need to set self-policies that govern us from using plastic bags and recycling the ones we already own. It is more of individual efforts that group that can help reduce plastic.
Eriksen, Marcus, Laurent CM Lebreton, Henry S. Carson, Martin Thiel, Charles J. Moore, Jose C. Borerro, Francois Galgani, Peter G. Ryan, and Julia Reisser, “Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans: More Than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing Over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea,” PloS one 9, no. 12 (2014): e111913.
As much as humans prefer and have been using plastic from time immemorial, plastics have proved to be more disadvantageous and hazardous than expected and therefore we need to recycle the existing ones to avoid further production for the betterness of our environment and our beloved earth at large. According to this paper, plastics makes up a good percentage of ocean pollutants.
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