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Consumption Essay

1156 words - 5 pages

If we took a panoramic picture of our bedrooms, we would find that more than three fourths of the objects are made of plastic; inclusively we could probably recycle every object at our sight. In the article “Plague of Plastic Chokes the Seas” written by Kenneth R. Weiss, he discusses the rapid spread of trash pollution, specifically plastic, in our oceans. Weiss not only addresses the spread of pollution, but also the damaging consequences it has in our ecosystem. In the following paper, I will address the threats of plastic debris gyres throughout the oceans, the vast amount of synthetic nets threatening wildlife, the spills and toxic chemicals in plastic pellets, and our nation’s obsession ...view middle of the document...

Unfortunately, fishes tend to gather beneath anything that floats causing them to swim in contaminated areas. All the trash trapped in synthetic nets and fishing lines comes from materials that either arrived over time or spilled during good transportation. While it might be believed that the nets only stretch for a certain distance, Weiss explains that a group of scientist voyaged out to find these nets and were astounded by the hundreds of miles they stretched out for. Not only were large patches of trash found lingering in the nets, but plastic fragments were found that in some cases can even feel like sand running through your toes.
As discussed by Weiss, the world’s oceans are full of trash that arrived there or spilled nearby and traveled over time. Container spills are large contributors to the contamination and pollution of the ocean. Plastic materials are transported via cargo ships and accidently, not all of them arrive to port. Unfortunately, businesses and corporations are not made responsible to pick up after such spills. Those items are left behind, and as mentioned before, threatening wildlife. Not only are plastic goods transported via cargo ships, but our nations demand for oil causes large shipments to enter our world’s oceans in about 2,600 tankers damaging our wildlife (Eitzen, Zinn, and Smith 95). Considering that part of these tankers spill from time to time, there are no strong regulations citing or fining companies that leave hazardous chemicals to enter our water ways. Keep in mind, that at this rate some if not all of the seafood we consume contains some type of toxic chemical.
While there are laws that forbid U.S. corporations to dump toxic waste in our country, corporations have gone far and beyond to find ways to profit if not avoid penalties for toxic chemicals. As mentioned by Eitzen, Zinn, and Smith in Social problems, “they not only dump wastes into oceans, but they also sell to other countries chemicals (such as pesticides) that are illegal to sell here because they are toxic”. This brings us to the classic example of environmental classism, in which disproportionately poor people are exposed to these chemicals because of their governments’ flexibility on environmental laws. Such toxic chemicals like pesticide DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls in plastic pellets not only harm animals but humans too (Weiss:2006). A new article on the recently released...

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