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Countless products we use contain plastic, just going through a grocery list one can find that the items bought on an everyday basis are partially, if not entirely out of plastic.

From certain perspectives plastic is very is a great invention: it is a cheap material, easy to shape according to need and since it’s light and durable it is also easy to transport. These are the main reasons why plastic has become so popular. But the use of plastic also has a major negative effect which is unfortunately not emphasized enough.

The unique structure of plastic, which makes it so durable, is a threat to our environment. Given that it’s an artificially produced material, organisms don’t recognize it making plastic non-biodegradable. One major consequence of this is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Plastic puts out a high percentage of the waste entering our waters and while natural waste degrades over a certain amount of time, without any further human intervention plastic will always stay in the water, polluting the oceans, harming the animals and entering the food chain. By now this garbage patch is already the size of Texas.

Several organizations are currently focusing on freeing the waters from the plastics in the Oceans but it should be everyone’s responsibility to prevent further waste entering the Ocean. The most efficient way to do so is by reducing our plastic consumption. The total elimination of plastic from our life would not be easy, but there are simple methods that can significantly reduce the plastic we generate, one of them is drinking tap water. Take a look at the following infographic to see how much damage we do to our environment by drinking bottled water. Compared to the benefits, the sacrifice of changing this one habit is really negligible.

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ecoCURRENTS is a joint initiative between ECO and select universities that benefits science students by recruiting them to summarize the latest marine science research and providing them with published bylines. We also cover items of interest to environmental practitioners, such as citizen science, community engagement, the arts, and human-interest stories.

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