The Rising Issue Of Plastic Pollution In The Ocean

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Planet Earth is having a hard time and us, humans, are the ones to blame. There are multiple ways we’re making it hard for our planet. One of the most obvious and striking reasons the Earth’s condition is descending is plastic pollution, especially with concern to the ocean. Globally, we produce around 300 million tons of plastic on a yearly basis of which most will become single-use products. Eight billion tons of plastic end up in the sea on a yearly basis. To give you an idea of how much this is, imagine five garbage bags full of trash on every 1 foot along the whole world’s coastline. Plastic has long-term effects. A water bottle, for example, is often used for about 1-3 hours but takes 450 years to fully decompose. We can no longer deny or hide our problems with plastic. Waiting for the plastic production to reduce is not an option as it is expected that the production in 2050 will be twice as much than it was in 2015. After looking at these facts, it’s clear that we can no longer deny nor hide our problems with plastic and have to face the cruel reality we’ve created ourselves by taking action. One of the persons who showed us that it is not too late to take action is Boyan Slat, he is a dutch inventor and entrepreneur who created a machine to collect the plastic rubbish and remove it from the ocean. Ideas like this are intelligent and helping but won’t have a large effect on the long-term. If we want to solve this problem, we have to tackle it at the core. The best way to react on the ocean’s plastic pollution problem is by to teaching the youth about the causes and effects of plastic pollution on the environment at a young age.

By teaching children about plastic pollution in school, they will not only be more aware of this ongoing issue, but they will also develop analysis skills as discussing this subject requires a lot of precise research. Though associative work requires a lot of work, it also helps the students to have discussions and solve problems outside of the classroom. Thinking and talking about solutions of this problem stimulates the brain to think creatively and outside of the box. Plastic also has effects on human health. This is also important to learn at a young age. It is possible that toxic chemicals from plastic end up in the blood and tissue. If we’re exposed to this, it can cause, impaired immunity, birth defects and other illnesses. Schools shouldn’t just focus on teaching subjects that will prepare students for their careers and earn them good test scores, but they should also teach them to be mindful citizens. Children need to be aware of their impact on the environment and society and how to use it. Children are the future of humanity, so it is important to provide information about pollution while children are still young. Maybe one of them will create the next new environmentally friendly system or device like Boyan Slat did. If children get interested in the environment, it will cause them to think like environmentally conscious adults. If schools want their students to be engaged, self-aware and deep-thinking they should definitely teach the causes and effects of plastic pollution.

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There will also be a direct impact on the way we are handling the situation as adults when we start to teach kids about the plastic pollution. Studies have shown that kids mirror their parents, it makes them feel good to be like them. Not a lot of people know that this also works the other way around so if children care about the ocean their parents most-likely will care as well. If a student gets a test on the pollution subject, a possible way to learn is discussing with his/her parents and asking them questions which will cause awareness and thoughts about it over all age groups. Teaching this subject won’t be hard as there are lots of documentaries and scientific studies on it. It will be a big step to make this an official school subject at first but after a few years people will get used to it and the former students will be able to provide their own children with the information they’ve learned at school. School subjects like mathematics and history are important because they basically teach you how to learn. It sounds weird but it makes your brain learn how to solve certain problems and see different connections, but in the real world these subjects are often not useful. Whereas plastic pollution in the ocean is an active serious situation which especially the new generations should be involved with as their future depends on how we handle it.

Last but not least, if kids grow up knowing the consequences of plastic waste they will most-likely use less plastic and more alternatives than the generations before which means that the production gets reduced. If this happens, fighting plastic pollution gets easier because there is less pollution to fight. Preventing that waste from even reaching the ocean is maybe even more important than getting it out of there. This is how you tackle the problem at the core. Parents play a big role in making fighting pollution fun. Forget about the plastic bag and get your kid excited about bringing their own bag to the grocery store over and over again. Or maybe start a garden and use your recyclables as containers for the seeds, It’s a simple and fun thing that will keep giving. The little things that we do with the little humans in our lives will lead to the formation of good environmentally conscious adults in the future. Also think about new businesses that could get set up by people from the ‘environmental conscious’ generation. They will take plastic waste as a serious concern and use as less of it as possible in their company. Look at all the unnecessary plastic packaging in grocery stores or hotels. This can be prevented by a business owner who truly cares about the environment instead of making as much money as possible. And we are responsible for giving the new generation that positive mindset.

To conclude, the best way to react on the ocean’s plastic pollution problem is by to teaching the youth about the causes and effects of plastic pollution on the environment at a young age. By learning plastic pollution as a subject analysis skills develop and creative thinking gets stimulated. Kids will make adults interested as well because they are interested in what their child is learning. This will cause a society that is aware of the environmental situation it’s living in. The world will have less plastic in the future which prevents pollution. It’s a big problem but we can’t lose the bigger picture. A safer, cleaner world for all of humanity. 

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