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Updated on July 2, 2017

Plastic: Pieces of the Problem

From toys to instruments and gadgets of high technology, plastic is an everyday part of our lives many times per day for several reasons. However, scientists are finding that even when we discard of plastic it is leaving many pieces of itself behind.


Chemicals which are added to plastics for our everyday use have been found to have harmful effects on our health. While many are having their summer fun on the beaches and on their own personal boats and yachts, often times, we use the oceans waters as a big wastebasket. The problem is, sea life consumes our easily strewn litter, causing them injury to their internal organs, poisoning and many times, death. And even after death and the decomposing of their bodies, the plastic which they have consumed remains intact.

A percentage of the worlds production of oil, as well as other chemicals are used to allow plastics to be shaped and made pliable for use (such as a plastic mattress cover). One such chemical of concern is bisphenol A (BPA): used in the lining of our can goods and other uses, it can leak into the contents of these containers of which we drink and eat. Another is phthalates: which allows polyvinyl to become pliable. The decision is split concerning phtalates, as some say it does no harm to humans, others say that it does. It has been in use for about fifty years.

Besides giving an ugly, cluttered look to our land, killing wild/sea life, using our natural resources for some uses of plastic (like grocery/garbage bags); plastics are also non-biodegradable. As a result, as stated above, wild/sea life consume it, die, and even after their bodies have decomposed, the plastic is still intact and can remain so one-thousand or more years.


It is in the center of several currents creating circular motions of all man-made plastic items we have 'thrown away' and they wash up on our far away seas and local beaches. The sea is becoming more full of these plastics and other debris as plastic only breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. The belief is that the garbage is not only in the Pacific Ocean, it is also in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as on the coast of Japan. Research is being done to clean up these garbage patches. One possibility to help clean up this mess is to utilize the waste materials by converting them into diesel fuel. The amount of plastic and other debris in the patch is increasing at higher rates.

More research is continuing to see the effects of items eaten from the garbage patch by wild/sea life. Also, research is continuing on what can be done to clear up this problem in our oceans which is as long as from California to Japan (some areas are more heavily cluttered than others). Going 'green' is a good start, and yet we have a long way to go.

For more information about going green go to:

For information about recycling plastic go to:

Captain Charles Moore/Marine Research


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    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for taking the time to read my articles katiem2. It is disgraceful what we have done and are doing to our beautiful planet earth. I hope the better way will be followed soon. Peace.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Good Grief, I'm going to post my play WAKE UP, it's about taking care of the planet and then some... great wake up call about the wastebasket of the world. Great topic, I enjoyed reading your hub. Bravo! Thanks and Peace :)

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for stopping by! I knew there was a problem, even I did not realize how bad it was, especially about plastics. I hope this is something we can resolve.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      really interesting information, especially about garbage. We have to consider about that. to make clean this earth. Good work, Support Med.

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 7 years ago from Michigan

      Didn't think of it that way, but sounds about right to me. Makes you think they knew a better way all along, but this way, they make even more money. Thanks for your comment hynodude, have a great one.

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrea 7 years ago from Italy

      The sad thing about plastic is that probably those who helped polluting the world with it will probably be those who will also make money disposing of it. Just like oil companies which are now developing alternative energies. First they make money polluting and then they make money cleaning.

      Rated and stumbled, good hub. :)

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 7 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you Lady E, for your visit and comments. I updated the hub re: Song of the Blue Whale. Thanks for letting me know about that.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Its a pity - that's why people are asked to dispose of plastic bottles after use and not constantly re-use them.

      I hope your advice is heeded, by converting them into diesel fuel. Best Wishes.

      Ps. I enjoyed reading your Hub "Song of the Blue Whale" but it didn't have a comment box. It's a nice Hub.

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 7 years ago from Michigan

      Glad you stopped by to visit thevoice and Pamela99. Hopefully we will be able to make a difference.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Very good information. Some of the islands don't have sanitation and untreated seweage runs into the ocean, plus many I've seen aren't kept clean so there is papers and plastics left on beaches that also end up in the water. It is a shame. Good hub

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

      great hub save earth