Letter: Nathaniel Powell, Harmony Middle School

Editor: About 14 billion pounds of trash are thrown in the ocean every year.  And since our population is rising, that number will go up too. Every time I look on the side of the road all I see are bottles.  Those bottles will end of in a fishes stomach. Although I am unsure how this group plans to prevent garbage from going into the oceans, here is a couple of facts of how the plan to clean it up.

According to The Ocean Cleanup, we could have the ocean plastic free by 2050.  “Combining the cleanup with source reduction on land paves the road towards a plastic free ocean by 2050” (The Ocean Cleanup).  With this information, we know that they are doing as much as the can to help our oceans.  We know that the future generations will be living in a much cleaner world.

The Ocean Cleanup proves that we don’t care what we throw in the oceans.  “Over 5 trillion pieces of plastic currently litter the ocean”(The Ocean Cleanup).  This information tells me that we as people are so careless that we just think we can do whatever we feel like.  The fact that there is so much trash in the ocean should make us want to fix it but we are still throwing trash in the oceans.

Based on what I read, The Ocean Cleanup is “,using the natural oceanic forces to catch and concentrate the plastic,  both the plastic and the system are being carried by the current”(The Ocean Cleanup).  Knowing that they aren’t polluting the ocean in the process of cleaning it up is good because they are actually cleaning up and not making a mess in the process.  This strategy would make cleaning the ocean a little slower but much more efficient and environment friendly.

Since The Ocean Cleanup has done so much for us, I think that we should do something for them.  I think that we should not only help them clean the ocean, but help them keep garbage from getting to it.  We should start banning plastic grocery bags, styrofoam, plastic straws, and other plastics. We should open more recycling centers and use them.  Trying to help them as much as we can on land will make their job in the ocean much easier. This ocean will outlive us all, so we should make it better for our future generations.  Without the ocean, nothing would survive. So let’s do what we can to fix our mistakes.

Nathaniel Powell, Harmony Middle School

One thought on “Letter: Nathaniel Powell, Harmony Middle School

  • 2019-05-12 at 5:30 pm

    The ocean cleanup project has a long way to go to prove it actually works (so far it doesn’t).

    Two things:
    1) ocean pollution from developed countries is marginal. We can beat ourselves as much as we want, banning plastic here won’t make much of a difference there. Mismanaged large scale plastic waste in third world or developing countries is the main source of ocean pollution. That’s where the focus needs to be.

    2) you are absolutely correct. Littering locally is getting worse. A lot worse. It was a lot better for decades, now we are regressing. Where is the new version of the crying Indian commercial? Why are so many environmentally conscious folks solely focusing on abstract and remote concepts like climate change and giving up on tangible immediate “pick up your trash” issues?
    Loudoun County roads are becoming more and more disgusting. So are our waterways.
    Thanks to the “adopt a highway” program and decent citizens picking up other people’s trash on the side of the road, the issue is somewhat under control. For now. How much longer will this last though?
    Some of that trash of course makes it to the ocean, but just like we don’t ban driving for everyone because a few irresponsible individuals drive under the influence and cause accidents, I fail to see why the solution to the problem is to ban plastic for everyone. You can ban plastic all you want, if you don’t educate folks to pickup after themselves and respect the environment, and fine then when they don’t, you’ll still find countless tires in local creeks, beer cans and bottles on the side of the roads and used oil poured down the drain.

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