The Plastic Problem

By: Noah Danielson, Writer


Did you know that 1.5 million pounds of plastic get dumped into the ocean every hour? That’s 13 billion 140 million pounds a year!


Photo by: Photo by: Patrick Galey and Marlowe Hood
This Photo was taken for An example of Plastic in the Ocean.


This is something that we need to act on because it’s negatively affecting our wildlife and environment, and future. Just how harmful is this plastic waste? Over 100,000 sea turtles die every year due to plastic in the ocean.

Photo by: Photo By: Alex Shulze and Andrew Cooper
This Photo is the Logo for commercial for profit-business 4Ocean.

Many brands use recycled plastic in their clothes like Adidas, Patagonia, Bureo, and of course everyone’s favorite ocean cleaner; 4Ocean. 4Ocean is an organization that takes plastic out of the ocean then makes clothes, jewelry, hats, and more.  This is a great way to reuse plastic that has been found in the ocean because we can reuse clothes for many years by passing them down. Another way to reuse waste that is extremely efficient and helpful is building houses out of recycled plastic. The company Conceptos Plastic has figured out a way to use recycled plastic or plastic found on land or in the ocean. Conceptos solved this issue by creating bricks that are made out of plastic and can last around 500 years. These Bricks cost 5,200 dollars to make and depending on how big your family is and how big you want your house, you can budget yourself and figure out how many bricks you want to use. 

Photo by: Creator of product: Oscar Andres Martinez
An example of home built out of plastic picked up from the ocean.

Another benefit to these plastic bricks is that Conceptos designed them like Lego bricks. This means anyone and everyone can build these houses, so they are way faster and more efficient to build. This makes the bricks especially helpful in low income countries, as they are cost effective and affordable.


Another option is to quit putting plastic in the ocean and stop using non-recyclables altogether. The issue is , the Environmental Protection Agency says that, “…75 percent of the US waste stream can be recycled or composted, but we’re only doing so for just over 34 percent of it.” 


But, on an individual level we can do many things to take plastic out of the ocean.  According to the Oceanic Society, one of the best ways to reduce waste is to switch to reusable products like reusable water bottles, metal straws, reusable shopping bags, just to name a few. Here is a list of a few eco-friendly options to consider:

  • Reusable coffee filters
  • Biodegradable pet waste bags
  • Biodegradable wheat utensils
  • Wooden utensils
  • Beeswax wrap for your leftover foods
  • Cloth Sandwich bags
  • Microfiber makeup remover cloths
  • Silicone Baking mat
  • Battery charger
  • Airtight containers
  • Silicone tea infusers
  • Compost bin
  • LED light bulbs 
Photo by: Photo by: Lori Keong and Sarah Madaus
This picture captures many different reusable products.

 Switching to reusable products is just one way for us to combat the plastic problem. It may seem overwhelming at times, but individuals can make a difference. Through informing ourselves and others and taking concrete steps we can help solve the plastic problem, helping to save the turtles and the future in the process.