Under the Sea?
Humans complain about how plastic bags are hurting our environment, but what about our friendly creatures under the sea? How does our waste affect them? Plastic bags take over 1,000 years to decompose and get into streams, lakes, rivers, and oceans. The harm they do under the sea may be worse than what plastic bags do above. Plastic bags are made for convenience. Americans need to have a greater awareness of how their actions are affecting animals that don’t have a voice that can tell Americans to not liter and throw waste into the oceans. Americans throw over a billion plastic bags a year just from one item purchases at the mall, grocery and drug stores. Since plastic bags are made from oil, throwing a billion plastic bags away is equivalent to dumping 12 million barrels of oil. According to the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, more than a million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die every year from eating or getting entangled in plastic. The conservation group estimates that 50 percent of all marine litter is some form of plastic. There are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every square mile of ocean, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.
We need to make a difference in our environment both land and sea. Continued awareness will hopefully help reduce the amount of paper bags used by consumers. As Gandhi knowledgably stated “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”