Natural Sciences >> Geography

Plastic Waste: The Environmental Cost on the World’s Oceans

by James Conn


Submitted : Spring 2015

In almost any area of the world, people can find plastic waste. Even in the most remote areas of the earth, oceans have carried plastic waste to lands far between each other. Short-term use plastic products have become a commonality in modern developed societies, and are becoming more popular as developing societies rise up in the world. For the world’s oceans, this is a huge problem. A large amount of plastic waste, even when originally disposed of at a dump site, eventually ends up in the oceans of our planet, slowly decaying and harming sea life, and people who eat seafood. This report discusses this issue in detail, followed by calculations showing how bad the problem of plastic waste being input into the world’s oceans really is. After showing a baseline of the projected amount of plastic waste input into oceans, another example is explained, showing that if plastic waste production and disposal into oceans is reduced by 25%, approximately 72% of total plastic waste disposal into oceans will be avoided by the year 2115. This study shows that, even if a small effort is made to reduce plastic waste, the end result will be immensely beneficial to environments across the world, especially the world’s oceans.



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Advisors :
Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics
Rebecca David, Geography
Suggested By :
Rebecca David