Plastic Pollution: Choking Our Planet - A Silent Killer - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  709 Words
Date:  2023-08-28


Plastic has been part of life for humankind in the modern world. Almost everything we use presently contains plastic. Despite being the most efficient material since its discovery in the early 1950s, plastic has turned out to be a major environmental pollutant, owing to its non-biodegradable nature. The careless disposal of plastic, especially into our oceans and other major water bodies, is slowly choking the earth. The affordability and durability of plastic saw its production rise to 285 million tons in 2019 (Parker). Less than 25% of the produced plastic is recycled, and this leads to the creation of enormous garbage heaps of plastic in almost every corner of the globe, while the rest is deposited into our oceans (Parker). This paper will analyze the extent to which this recycled plastic has become a global menace and the measures that humankind should adopt to save the ‘chocking’ earth.

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The increasing volumes of plastic waste in the oceans have drastically led to the depletion of marine life because of the distraction of the marine ecosystem. Deaths of thousands of marine animals ranging from turtles to sea horses have been attributed to the ingestion of plastic waste in the oceans. Aquatic birds have also not been spared by this menace. Scientists have captured numerous aquatic birds along the coastlines with injuries and complications as a result of ingesting plastic waste, especially plastic drinking straws (Vikas, and Dwarakish). Much of the plastic waste in the oceans has been as a result of reckless dumping along the coastal beaches and dumping from cruise ships. Specific regions in the major oceans have formed huge plastic garbage patches, resulting from ocean currents, and these patches are ever-growing at a worrying rate. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the North Pacific Ocean is an example of the ever-growing ocean plastic waste patches (Vikas, and Dwarakish). The plastic waste from this patch originates from California, Hawaii, and Southeast Asian countries. The water around the ocean patches can no longer support marine life and is characterized by low nutrients for phytoplankton.

With the decreasing volume of phytoplankton due to plastic pollution in the oceans, the marine ecosystem has been drastically altered. Scientists have noted a decrease in marine animal populations in the past few decades owing to the diminishing and unevenly distributed phytoplankton in the oceans. Some marine animals have also been forced to alter their migratory nature due to the changing marine ecosystem (“The Plastic Menace; Leading the Change”). This has contributed to a decrease in such species as their breeding cycle is altered with the change of migratory patterns.

Burning of waste plastics in the dumping sites produces greenhouse gases such as sulfur and methane. These gases have led to the depletion of the ozone layer, resulting in the gradual rise of temperatures on the earth. The rising temperatures have resulted in a rise in ocean levels due to the melting ice at the poles and glaciers on the mountains. The rise of ocean water levels has caused catastrophic floods, which have majorly hit the Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia (Parker). Some coastal cities may also be submerged into the rising oceans in the coming decades. All these occurrences can be attributed to the increased usage of plastics and careless and handling of plastic waste.

It is clear that the earth is chocking from the careless disposal of plastic waste. To mitigate this, scientists are developing a biodegradable type of plastic that will replace the current petroleum-based non-biodegradable plastic. Nations around the globe are also investing in plastic recycling plants that will check the amount of plastic waste that is being disposed into the ecosystem. There is an urgent need to put up appropriate measures to check this menace as it is turning out to be a threat to the existence of humankind, among other species.

Works Cited

Parker, Laura. “We Depend On Plastic. Now, we’re Drowning in it.”. Nationalgeographic.Com, 2020,

“The Plastic Menace; Leading the Change.” Medium, 2020,

Vikas, M., and G.S. Dwarakish. “Coastal Pollution: A Review.” Aquatic Procedia, vol 4, 2015, pp. 381-388. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.aqpro.2015.02.051.

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Plastic Pollution: Choking Our Planet - A Silent Killer - Essay Sample. (2023, Aug 28). Retrieved from

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