The ocean is a giant ecosystem for billions of animals like jellyfish, sea turtles, fish, dolphins, and sharks. It’s important to keep our world livable. Every year, over 300 million tons of plastic are produced for a variety of purposes. Out of the 300 million tons of plastic, over 14 million tons end up in the ocean every year. This harms and destroys marine life. This is really painful to see because you probably have a favorite marine animal and may slowly see it go to extinction because of the plastic that is thrown away each year.  The government can help by founding an organization that is dedicated to cleaning the ocean and helping marine life.

Seventy-nine percent of plastic waste is sent to landfills or the ocean, while only 9% is recycled, and 12% gets incinerated. As a result, according to the article “Marine Plastic Solutions,” “Marine wildlife such as seabirds, whales, fish, and turtles mistake plastic waste for prey; most then die of starvation as their stomachs become filled with plastic. They also suffer from lacerations, infections, reduced ability to swim, and internal injuries. Floating plastics also help transport invasive marine species, thereby threatening marine biodiversity and the food web.”  The article Plastic Impacts on Wildlife adds, “Plastic pollution is devastating to wildlife because it doesn’t simply disappear. It can take hundreds of years to break down into smaller and smaller pieces which can be easily ingested. Plastic is toxic and can kill wildlife or make them more susceptible to disease.” Clearly, plastic pollution is crushing marine life in the ocean.

There are many ways to solve the plastic pollution problem affecting marine life. But the best one is having the government give money to the companies or organizations that dedicate themself to picking up trash. In the article “15 Organizations Fighting,” it says, ”Luckily, there are a number of non-profit marine conservation organizations across the world working to save our oceans, on behalf of all of us.” They are involved in protecting the ocean from all such harm and also try to restore vibrant marine life. For example, Ocean Conservancy is an organization from 1972 that picks up trash and still does this today.  The government should help organizations like these that dedicate and risk their lives to help marine life and pick up plastic from the ocean.

Imagine your children or grandchildren not believing you that there once existed sea turtles, seals, and whales. There are 1.5 million whales left. There are supposed to be 3 times more whales, but there aren’t, because of the plastic pollution. Similarly, six of the seven species of sea turtles are becoming endangered and extinct. This hurts me so much because so many more animals are in extinction and not only that, they are living things that have feelings and they are some of humans’ favorite animals that some people wish they could show to their children and grandchildren and more generations. But the truth is that unless we act, they won’t be able to because of plastic pollution. 

Almost all the 8 billion people that live in the world are responsible for the plastic pollution problem, yet there are minimal people every day fighting to help the oceans. Some people that have other dreams realize the plastic pollution problem and dedicate themselves to help because they know that their own species caused the problem. The government should support them, on behalf of the animals and the people who care about them.

Written By:

Maya Ramirez

Grade 6

DC International PCS