Everything you do has an impact, whether you realize it or not. And just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Too many of us get caught up in the busyness of our own lives that we forget the big picture. The big picture when it comes to the environment is that we each have a part in our planet’s health. We all must recycle when we can, reuse plastic materials and other human-made tools and machines, and be cognizant of what we buy. All of our actions, when compounded, can have a huge effect. Our responsibility is to make sure that effect is a positive one and not a negative one.
KW Plastics buys scrap plastic and then uses this scrap plastic to make plastic resin pellets. We’ve been recycling plastic since 1981 and our impact not only in our local community of Troy, Alabama, but also nationwide, has been tremendous. In our previous blog post, we discussed some of the dangers of plastics in the ocean. In this blog post, we’ll continue taking a hard look at how our actions have caused some major ocean ecosystem disturbances and how we can reverse those changes. Contact us for all your plastic resin pellet needs today!
MORE DANGERS OF PLASTIC IN THE OCEAN
Death of Sea Turtles
Many sea turtles die each year from ingesting plastic. Sea turtles see the plastic and think it is jellyfish, one of their main sources of food. Sea turtles are also the unfortunate victims of errant nets that are floating in the ocean. They get stuck and then they end up drowning. One fact that is very sad for the team at KW Plastics is that it is estimated that half of the sea turtles in the world have eaten plastic — a statistic that should get most people to step up their recycling game.
Impact on Humans Via the Food Chain
Humans, as the top consumer on the food chain, are affected as well by ocean life being exposed to plastic in their environments. Besides eating fish and other sea creatures that may have plastic in their stomachs, which would then transfer over to us, the toxins in some plastics that we would ingest because they were absorbed by the fish or whatever sea creature we ate, can cause severe health issues as well, from cancer and birth defects to autoimmune problems and more.
Pollutes the Ocean Water
Plastic does break down, just extremely slowly. However, as this plastic breaks down, the toxins in the plastic dissipate into the water and bond with the water molecules, causing pollution. One such substance, Bisphenol A, is found in many plastics and pollutes the water badly. As the toxins bond with the water, the result is less oxygen molecules in the water, which sea creatures and fish, not to mention algae and other plant life, need to survive. This can kill marine life, including whales, dolphins, penguins, and more.
One of the disheartening things about ocean trash that KW Plastics notes is the collection of ocean trash on beaches and on shorelines. For example, the Hawaiian Archipelago, extending out from Hawaii for about 1,500 miles is riddled with trash. Some of the plastic is decades old and some beaches are buried under five to 10 feet of plastic trash. Even worse, some are riddled with “plastic sand,” which is millions of grains of plastic that is virtually impossible to clean up. With plastics, they are either heavy enough to sink, or they float, which leads some to land on beaches and congested waterways. When garbage collects in waterways, marine life have a hard time swimming through such large concentrations. Furthermore, humans are impacted as well as ocean creatures who live on the shore such as crabs by the fact they now have no beach to use. Sea turtles are once again impacted since they lay their eggs on shore, but have a hard time doing so in so much trash.
DECOMPOSITION FACTS OF PLASTIC
The Marine Conservancy offers the following decomposition rates of ocean trash:
- Foam plastic cups: 50 years
- Plastic water bottle/beverage bottle: 400 years
- Disposable diapers: 450 years
- Other plastic bottles not for drinking: 450 years
- Fishing line: 600 years
HOW KW PLASTICS HELPS OCEAN LIFE
As we mentioned above, we all have a part to play in the health and vitality of our planet. By engaging in community recycling projects and teaching recycling education to your children, you do make a significant impact on this world.
Recycling education is key as well to helping with the overwhelming problem of trash in our oceans. By implementing recycling education in our schools and by educating ourselves on some of these frightening and very sad statistics, more people will have the impetus to get involved and do their part. Climbing a mountain begins with one step; cleaning up our trash just takes picking up one piece.
KW Plastics has been recycling plastics since 1981. When we saw that our landfills were filling up with plastic, we acted. Now, we recycle thousands of tons of plastic every year, and all we had when we started was a desire to make a difference.
You can make a difference as well by using recycled plastic pellets in your manufacturing process and by recycling your scrap plastic from your manufacturing process. As the best plastics recycling company, we can help. Contact us today for pick up or delivery of your plastic bales or scrap plastic!