Story last updated at 4/15/2009 - 11:03 am
Editor's note: This is part of a series of essays written last fall by Floyd Dryden eighth grade students in Samantha Davis' class.
The ocean is beautiful and full of breathtaking animals that either fill us with awe or fill us with fear. We thrive off the ocean and its animals. But because of our new technology to make our lives easier, our ocean is dying, and unless we do something about it we will not have a beautiful ocean. For this reason we should not use plastic.
One reason we should not use plastic is because it kills marine life. Plastic affects 267 species and kills more than half. Some of these animals are the gentle turtles we see in Hawaii, the fish we eat in the Pacific and Atlantic, and the birds that sing us songs in the morning. To animals, plastic causes indigestion when eaten or swallowed, entanglement when swam through, and suffocation to those who get entangled. Not only does it kill marine life, but it also harms us, because without marine life we'll lose a lot of good nutrients in our diet and our ocean will be lifeless.
Another thing plastic does is pollute our shores. For instance, Californians love their beaches. Nine out of ten Californians will visit the beach this year. But when they arrive at the beach, they are finding more than surf and sand.
During last summer, Orange County collected enough plastic and garbage from six miles of beach to fill ten garbage trucks full of trash every week. Every year about 230 million tons of plastic and trash is generated in the United States alone. Less than a quarter of that is recycled.
Out of that 230 million tons of plastic and trash generated every year, 6 million tons of it is dumped into the ocean. The United States use 2 million plastic beverage bottles every five minutes! Plastic not only pollutes our shores, but it also makes it less enjoyable to spend a day at the beach.
Now that I have told you some facts, let me tell you what you can do to help.
Instead of using plastic that never decomposes, use cloth bags or corn plastic which is biodegradable. Also, you can do the three R's: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. You can do this at home, work, and even at school. When you are thirsty, use a glass cup not a plastic water bottle.
One of the most important things you can do though, is to spread the word. Not only can we do something to help, but we can help others save our mother ocean.
We should use biodegradable items and cloth, instead of plastic. Plastic kills our marine life, and it pollutes our shores, but we can stop that. We can save our ocean. Do your part to save the ocean!