The environment is a topic of debate of the 2020 election. It's a big focus now on the news and in the public, but there's always the one common question: how do we make the environment better? There is one simple answer to that question, getting rid of plastic.

Plastic everywhere!

Scientists estimate that there are 15 trillion to 51 trillion pieces of plastics in the world's ocean from the equator to the poles and that not one square mile of the surface ocean is free from plastic. Specifically plastic straws bags and cups. It is also estimated that 13 million metric tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year.

Plastic pollution has a direct and deadly effect on the wildlife fish, seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals can become entangled in or ingest plastic, causing suffocation starvation and drowning. Some of these sea animals have ingested the plastic, then thinking their stomach was full from eating plastic which then causes them to starve. These animals lives are no different from humans lives, they all have a family, they all don't like when their home is destroyed by plastic or even trash in general.

At least 800 species worldwide are affected by trash dumped in the ocean, 80 percent of that trash being plastic, up to 1 million of the estimated 8 million plants, and animal species on earth are at risk of extinction.

The coffee and tea addiction

There is no doubt many people can not go without getting Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or Wawa. So the major question is how do we get them to stop using the plastic cups every day? There is a simple answer, reusable cups. Did you know that every one of those convenience stores allows you to bring in your own reusable cups?

These reusable cups do cost money however if you bring them in when you get your coffee or whatever drink you want, you get a discount. So next time you decide to go into one of those convenience stores, think about saving our environment, and buy a reusable cup instead of a plastic cup.

Glass vs. plastic

Many adults that have a working job usually bring their lunch, the adults usually bring their lunch in plastic templeware. While it's not OK for children to bring glass temple wear to school, parents or even anyone if you aren't a parent you should consider using glass templeware, and limiting the usage of plastic tempalware. Even if you are a parent, you can send the kids to school with the plastic tempalware, but you templeware can limit the usage of the plastic templeware by taking your lunch in plastic

Aquaman

Now I’m sure most people know of Aquaman, right? well, he has recently discussed a new organization he is going to start. Jason Momoa, the actor who plays Aquaman, has decided that he wanted to start an organization with limiting the use of plastic water bottles and switching to the use of aluminum cans for water. Just a change as simple as that can limit the throwing away of plastic by a lot. One aluminum can once it is recycled, it can be made back into another aluminum can 60 days later. However, if you throw away a plastic water bottle, it takes that plastic water bottle 450 years to completely break down and it somehow in those 450 years ends up in some water place. So making that little change can save our environment and limit the use of plastic and use more aluminum.

Shopping Shopping Shopping

There is no question about it, every family goes shopping. Whether the family goes grocery shopping, clothing shopping, or even a quick run to the drug store, each time someone buys something they most likely get a bag for the items they purchase. Most of the time when they get the bag with the purchased items, that bag usually plastic. Now some people do question why it matters? Most people only take trips to the grocery store once a week so what's the big deal? Well on average 2500 people go to the grocery store a day. Can you imagine how many bags are leaving the store going home with someone and getting thrown away after the groceries are put away? Now the big question is how are the usage of all these plastic bags preventable? Well, two easy simple answers. Make that switch to reusable bags they cost 99 cents at the store. However, if you're not able to afford it, we as a community could make the switch to use more brown bags. Brown bags are able to decompose and break down within 2 weeks vs a plastic bag that takes 450 years. Just these little switches can save our environment.

Savannah Greenleaf is an eighth-grade student at Kennett Middle School.
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