Widespread Movement

Many people have been fighting for years to reduce the pollution in the oceans and in the environment in general. These efforts were appreciated by the world, but there was not much done by larger figures in the media to help support these efforts. This is changing though. In a newly found movement called Team Seas, many large you tubers and social media influencers have come together to bring a larger awareness to the general public, especially younger kids who follow these influencers closely. The movement was started by Mr. Beast and Mark Rober and is similar to their movement they did a few years ago called Team Trees.

The pollution from plastics in the environment is ever increasing. The rising demand for plastics is causing a rising number of these plastics to end up in the oceans and other environmental locations. The demand also is causing the plastic manufacturing plants to be producing more plastics, in turn releasing more possibly harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. These rising pollutants in the environment are causing mass harm to the organisms that come into contact with said pollutants, and large faces in social media are realizing this. That is why the two people previously stated started this movement.

The movement was started on October 29 with one goal in mind. To clean the oceans and coastlines. The movement is based on a donation system, where one dollar is equal to one pound of trash that is promised to be removed from the oceans. The organization has a goal of at least 30 million pounds of trash removed by January 1st of 2022. This may seem like an unobtainable goal in such a small amount of time, money wise and man power wise, but the two founders of this organization have employed help to help clean the beaches. In just under a month, the organization has already raised $16,357,774, and the efforts to cleaning the beaches are already starting.

It is not just influencers that are bringing awareness to this movement as well. Other non-profit organizations, such as Ocean Conservancy, have already pledged to donate money and help participate in the cleanups all over the world. The movement has helped to bring attention to the problem, not just to older people who have lived with it, but to the younger generations who will have to live with the repercussions of this pollution if something is not done to change our habits and the demand and litter of plastics is not reduced.

This movement will hopefully be a huge step forward in conservation efforts. It will hopefully bring the negatives of pollution and plastics to the eyes of the whole world, and will create motivation in everyone to change their habits and help clean the world for generations to come. The two main organizations backing this movement are Ocean Conservancy and The Ocean Cleanup. These two organizations have much experience in the conservation of the oceans and will hopefully use this movement to pave the way for a brighter future.

The Grim Future

Plastics are all around us. Almost every aspect of our lives is surrounded by a piece of plastic. Many of these plastics are reusable, but the ones that are single-use are bringing detrimental effects to our environment. Although there are many more laws in place and much more attention on the situation, the outlook for progress does not look promising right now.

In an article written by the UN, it is predicted that “Plastic pollution in oceans and other bodies of water continues to grow sharply and could more than double by 2030…” This is quite a grim idea meaning that there is so much that is trying to be done to clean not only the oceans, but the world. The organizations like Ocean Conservancy, 4Ocean, and the newly created organization Team Seas, are all working towards cleaning our oceans, but these organizations cannot solve the problem alone. There needs to be more done by governments and us as citizens to help make the world a better place.

As previously stated, the plastic pollution can rise by double or more in the oceans by 2030, less than 9 years. By 2040, the number of plastics in the ocean is predicted to be around 50kg of plastic per meter of coastline. In similar terms, this will be triple the amounts of plastics in the oceans now.

These plastics will cause a number of problems to the environment. Not only causing destruction of the sea life and corals, the toxins in the plastics will slowly seep into the waters, further killing the marine life. These toxins can also result in the corals bleaching themselves, and we could loose all natural reefs from this. There are many more problems than meets the eye though. In the same article released by UN, plastics are also a large contributor to greenhouse gases. In 2015, greenhouse gas emissions from plastics were 1.7 gigatonnes of CO2 and by 2050, the gas emissions are predicted to be 6.5 gigatonnes. So, not only will the plastics help to add to the breaking down of the ozone layer, they will also inadvertently help speed up the rates of climate change. Luckily, the article has been written right before COP26, and will hopefully bring attention to the problem for the governments.  Finally, the article also states that recycling on its own is not enough. To fully help create change, the plastic industry as a whole needs to be targeted and there needs to be a reduction of how much plastic is made overall.

The attended audience for this article is the everyday person. It was written to bring awareness to the problem and hopefully spark change in peoples hearts to push for less plastics and a better world. This article was written just before COP26, and was written to hopefully bring more awareness to governments about the plastic problem related with climate change. The article is obviously biased to making the world a less plastic lead economy and pushing people to help fight back against the plastic industries and make the world a cleaner place.

A Step Forward


Plastics are an everlasting problem on our earth. They pollute environments, kill animals, and the production for plastics themselves are very harmful. Throughout the United States, governments and regular people have been trying to make progress to cleaning up the earth and stopping the use of single use plastics. Although there does not seem to be like much progress has been done, there were two bills just approved in California, that now need to approved by Governor Gavin Newsom, that are monumental for the reduction of single-use plastics. These two bills are briefly talked about in an article written by the plastic and ocean cleanup organization, Oceana.

The first bill is Assembly Bill 962. This bill is step forward for reusable bottles in California and hopefully getting rid of single-use plastic bottles. This bills main point is that instead of requiring that glass single-use bottles be crushed for recycling, that they can instead be preserved, washed, and refilled. This will help to reduce glass waste and also allow for more jobs to be provided in California. The urging for people to use reusable glass bottles may also reduce the amount of single use plastics throughout the state. Stated in the same article by Oceana, a 20% increase in use of refillable beverage bottles in place of single-use plastic bottles could keep up to 13.5 billion plastic bottles out of the ocean every year. This would be a huge leap forward in the reduction of plastics use and could also help to kickstart other states to do the same.

The second bill that is trying to be passed is Assembly Bill 1276. This bill focuses on the use of single-use plastic utensils. These utensils, such as forks, spoons, and knives are commonly on the top ten items found at beach cleanups and are often not wanted by the customers ordering the food. This bill is trying to be passed to stop this. The bill proposes that plastic forks, spoons, knives, straws, and condiment packets only be provided to the customer if the specifically request for the items. This would allow for a great step towards reducing the majority of single-use plastics that are most commonly used. Many people do not use nor want the utensils anyways, so the utensils are thrown out without second thought. This bill would help to greatly eliminate this.

This article was written to inform the general public about what is going on in the world. Mainly targeting the Californian citizens, this article was written to push the agenda of reducing single-use plastics throughout the state and throughout the world. This is not a bad agenda though, and hopefully more people around the world will become more aware of their consumption and also push their governments to pass similar bills. Although these bills are not worldwide, they provided a positive outlook and some hope to the people who are following and supporting the banning of single use plastics. With more support and sharing of information like this, we may be able to start a more common movement to help make the earth healthier and clean our environment from plastics.


Change is Hard

Change. Change is one of the biggest factors of our lives. Changing jobs, changing schools, changing majors, but many people overlook one of the most beneficial, but yet possibly most difficult things to change. This change is change in plastic. More of our lives than we realize revolve around plastic. From our toothbrushes to our cars, almost everything used in your daily life is made partially out of plastics. All this plastics makes our lives much easier and convenient, but in the sense of things, 91 percent of these aren’t recycled at all and end up in landfills. This is why we need change in our use of plastics.

You, as the reader, may think this is a tall task to do, but it is much easier than many would think. There are many daily options around us that we can replace with much more sustainable goods. Things like garbage bags, ziplock bags, and plastic grocery bags are the easiest to think of. But there is much more. We can even replace things like makeup, soap, and laundry detergent with much more sustainable, plasticless alternatives. For garbage bags, you can separate your bins. You can use one bin for dry things and another, with a bag, for wet things. For smaller garbage bags, you can reuse old bread bags. All of these goods have sustainable alternatives that are sold in almost all store, you just have to make the switch and go from speed and convenience, to a little more time required to help make the world a better place for future generations to come.

I participated in doing this myself this week. I did two very simple but effective things. The first thing I changed was my bathroom garbage bag. As I said earlier, you can use old bread bags, which is exactly what I did. This change did not affect my life at all. I still have the bag in and it is just like using a regular garbage bag. Its a little nicer though because the bag is longer, allowing me to be able to fit more into it. The second change I did was changing to using powdered laundry detergent. This was a more impactful change to my life, because I was used to just throwing in a tide pod and forgetting about it. Using powdered detergent, I had to measure it out, using a tablespoon and a half, and then pour it into the correct spot of the washing machine. The end result was the same though. Fresh clothes and less plastic used.

Overall, these are minute changes to our lives that, if everyone participated in, would have a big change on the world. Just changing small amounts of our lives to be more sustainable would cut out much of the plastics that are ending up in landfills and our oceans. These changes would also mean we would need less of these plastics, resulting in less toxins being released from production and less natural resources being destroyed. So, living sustainably is a small price to pay for a big reward to the environment.

Plastic All Around

When I woke up today and started collecting my plastics, I anticipated the numbers to be very similar to the first experience I had to tracking my plastics throughout the day. The first time I tracked the plastic objects I used throughout the day, I had about 40 different plastic objects in total. The bright side from that was that only about 5 of the plastic objects were single use. The results of tracking my plastics today was much different though. I payed much closer attention to what I used that is plastic based, but only ended up with roughly 25 objects, much less than I thought I would get by being more aware of what I’m using. The main cause for this is the fact that I did not play hockey today. Almost all hockey gear is partially made of plastic, so not having to come into contact with my gear today saved me about 7 objects. Other than this, the majority of my day was pretty similar to what a normal day looks like for me, which is why it was surprising to still get a lower number.

Many of the objects I used today were also reusable. The only non-reusable things I used were food wrappers. The fact that food wrappers are widely used though can provide some worry for the world. With how much packaged food is sold in grocery stores, large amounts of this packaging is most likely not being recycled and ending up in our environment. I was also caught off guard by the plastics that I found in unexpected locations, such as the gym. I never realized how much of the gym equipment is made of plastic, these things mainly being bands, the covers for metal weights, and the various machines.

While I do not think that there is a dedicated recycling facility in the area around College of Charleston, I do know there are many compost areas and recycling areas. As good as it may make us feel to put our waste in these, as we learned in class, these small bins do not help much. For waste to compost in large volume, the waste needs to be in a large area with heat and oxygen for the bacteria to work, but the composters on campus only allow for a small area and volume, and there is no true way to know if this waste is transported to a larger composting location. Single stream recycling bins, like the ones on campus, also produce many problems. In an article written by long time environmental reporter Jacob Fenston, he goes over how much of this recycling is actually contaminated. In a visit he took to a contamination station, he stated that, “…it’s as if for every nine trucks that dumps a load of recycling, a tenth truck pulls up and unloads nothing but trash,” (Fenston, 2019). This may not seems like much, but when you try to put into perspective the amount of people in the world all producing roughly 4.5 pounds of waste per day, this scenario seems much more tragic. So although there are the small areas for recycling, there is no true way to know how much is recycled after it is sent off.

Finally, Beth Terry says, “Guilt is not encouraged.” I agree with this because if you feel guilt and force yourself to feel guilt, you will focus too much on it and ruin your life. Therefore, I believe that we, as in the whole population, should strive towards not drastically changing our lifestyles, but being more aware about our waste and how we deal with it.

Works Cited:

Fenston, Jacob. “Does Your Recycling Actually Get Recycled? Yes. Maybe. It Depends.” WAMU, 5 Dec. 2019, wamu.org/story/19/02/12/does-your-recycling-actually-get-recycled-yes-maybe-it-depends/.