What specifically are the effects of plastic pollution on these resources?
February 27, 2020 Comments Off on What specifically are the effects of plastic pollution on these resources? Course Work Assignment help

1. In choosing Topic 2: Solutions to Plastic Pollution, I think a viable solution that is currently seeing relative growth and successful results, is replacing as many plastic containers as possible (especially single-use) with plant-based compostable alternatives as provided by companies such as UrthPact.

Even with all my good environmental choices, I am dependent on so many plastic materials for so many things. 

In reviewing the pros, it seems a no-brainer that replacing the growing amount of trash in most countries from something with virtually no end to its life, with something that will efficiently and effectively break down in a natural way into the soil is a good decision. I think it would also need to be investigated how these “earth-friendly” containers are being created, and what resources are being used. As with the launch of the combustion engine, people thought it great that cars could replace horses. Now we are trying to find ways to replace cars.

The two big cons related to using new biodegradable materials is cost and scalability.  As with most products, if the price point can keep getting closer to that of currently used plastics, the companies that make the plastics can keep up with the demand, and the consumer doesn’t notice a negative impact, the disruption is bound to take place.  Until then it will continue to be very challenging. Especially when looking at companies as large as Coca-Cola. Companies of this size don’t just flip a switch and change their entire bottling, supplier, and logistics channels.  I’m guessing it is probably painful and considering the primary consumer of products like 2-liters of coke (I’m guessing) are lower-income, price is everything.

2.  Most marine debris (80%) comes from trash and debris in urban runoff such as litter, trash from commercial and industrial facilities as well as construction sites, and trash blown out of garbage containers, trucks, and landfills. The other 20% comes from ocean-based sources, such as, overboard discharges from ships and discarded fishing gear. I learned discarded fishing gear is a big problem. Food containers and packaging are the largest component of the municipal solid waste stream together with plastic bags, also represent the largest component of marine debris. Tash can be carried to the ocean in rivers, or when it’s swept away from the beach. It can also be dumped from offshore platforms, despite the fact that this has been banned since 1988. But that’s not all.

What specifically are the effects of plastic pollution on these resources?

Marine Mammals:

The world’s largest predator – the sperm whale, was killed by plastic. Cause of death? An inflammation of its abdominal tissues caused by the presence of nearly 30 kilograms of indigestible plastic. Among the items recovered in its gut were shopping bags, fishing nets and a jerry can. Globally, 100,000 marine mammals die every year as a result of plastic pollution. This includes whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions. There are two principle ways that encountering marine debris can be fatal for these creatures: ingestion (eating) or entanglement in plastic-based fishing gear. The other way that plastic pollution effects ocean mammals is through entanglement, and one of the worst offenders here is abandoned fishing gear. When plastic is left to float in the ocean it continues its deadly purpose, ensnaring unwary marine creatures who venture too close. Like humans, marine mammals can’t breathe underwater, and the most common way that entanglement kills is through drowning.

The results from recovered ghost nets are devastating, and show that it isn’t only mammals that are at risk. Here are the combined contents of two ghost nets taken from the waters around the Tiwi Islands and Darwin respectively:

  • Three skeletons believed to be dolphins.
  • Three dolphinfish (mahi-mahi).
  • Two turtles.
  • Nine blacktip reef sharks.
  • Numerous reef fish.

3.  What do you see as the cause for plastic pollution? 
The cause that I see for plastic pollution is that people go to beaches with either grocery bags with their snacks in them and the grocery bags end up flying away and they just brush it off by saying that eh it’s okay someone else will get it but logically the only thing that will be getting it is a sea turtle thinking it is a jellyfish which will then cause it to die from eating it.

What specifically are the effects of plastic pollution on these resources? 

The effects that plastic pollution has on fish. After doing some research on the effects plastic has on fish is that it builds up in there GI tracts and causes physical problems. It also leaches chemical contaminants into fish and their environment. Also, if you have ever eaten fish there was a chance that you have consumed plastic as well.

How significant of an issue is plastic pollution? Did your opinion change after researching the topic?