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How Does Plastic Keep Ending Up In Our Oceans?

Plastic pellets are the main items used to create plastic. They are small-about the size of a lentil. They shouldn’t be too harmful, right? Wrong.

With more than 230,000 tons of these pellets being dropped into the ocean each year, the damage they do is detrimental. Ocean wildlife is becoming deathly ill due to the water contamination these pellets cause. Laura Sullivan, National Public Radio (NPR) speaker, said, “The oil and plastic industry… says it has programs in place to prevent any spills. But NPR and PBS' Frontline found top officials have known about the problem for decades, even as they successfully fended off regulation that might have kept them in check.”

The worst part is how easily ingestible these pellets are, especially when found in such large amounts. You can see these pellets are present in beaches, rivers, and many other ecosystems—including our local grass parks. It's not just large animals or marine life that are affected, it is even the microbial life—worms and tree roots—and, in some cases, it is even affecting pregnant women.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and large companies who deny their industries creating harm are at fault for this, especially since the organization members and workers have ignored the consequences that are rather obvious in our current environment. The plastic industry has continuously denied spills and destruction on their part for years. The United States EPA needs to be held accountable for allowing companies to consistently make mistakes, especially when it is purposeful.

While it is understandable that it is difficult to be “plastic-free,” it never hurts to try to be as environmentally-friendly as possible. By us as a society limiting the demand for plastic products, the production of these items will eventually decrease. Try to use reusable water bottles: a great sustainable brand is ‘Public Goods’ to begin with. Their products are inexpensive and provide easy alternatives to make your entire home more eco-friendly while limiting plastic usage. Learn more about them here.

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