Ban the distribution of non-biodegradable plastic bags in Washington State
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The problem at hand.
The Pacific ocean is filled. Not with fish, or turtles, or whales, or kelp; but with trash. The Pacific ocean is terribly polluted by plastic. There is up to 51 trillion pieces of plastic in the world's oceans, and not only are they taking up tons of space, but they are killing and trapping the wildlife that call the ocean home. Plastic is an un regulated pollutant, so humans are going rampant in manufacturing it, and conveniently using the Pacific as a mean of disposal. The Pacific is the largest ocean on Earth, and unfortunately home to the largest landfill. It contains the Great Pacific Garbage patch. The Patch is a giant area of garbage and plastic all pushed together by gyre currents, and is 3.45 million kilometers squared, approximately the size of Europe (or twice the size of Texas). Plastic is a non-biodegradable material, meaning it will never go away. This is the material we have an increasingly alarming level of in our oceans, ending up in the stomachs of our marine life, and ending up in the stomachs of our people.
What have humans done to create this problems?
Humans have been neglectful to what is entering their oceans, and ignoring the grim future of what will happen when they don’t place limits on plastic consumption. Californians use about 16 billion plastic bags annually, and the sad part is that only 5% of plastic bags get recycled. (Keep). Pollution starts on our beaches and end up getting swept out to sea via water and wind. When people utilize so many plastic products like bags and bottles, they make their way to the water and never come back. If Californians would regulate their plastic use and take all necessary measures to recycle them properly, fish would not be ingesting 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic per year in the Pacific ocean.
Why should this problem be fixed?
Plastic pollution is not just a few water bottles left behind on the beach or a random bag caught in a tree. It is killing our marine wildlife and taking up a huge expanse of our beautiful Pacific. There are 300 species of Marine animals getting trapped in plastic, and consuming it, and 1/4 of all the fish sold in California have plastic found in their stomachs. By 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the seas by weight.
What major things can be done to fix this problem?
This problem will take the help of many people to be able to solve, however we can start by creating more regulations and laws on plastic. Plastic bags are one of the main contributors to plastic pollution and sea animal suffocation, so if we could change the types if bags to ones that we could reuse or that would be biodegradable, we could start to see a huge difference in our ocean's pollution.
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