Packaging waste in the world’s ocean is at an alarming all-time high right now. According to scientists about 25 million pounds of plastic somehow end up on our oceans every year. This amount of plastic in the ocean is leading to some catastrophic effects to our ecosystem. So the question is “how do we reduce packaging waste in the world’s oceans”. I believe the only true solution to the massive issue is creating an system of agreements between all country’s that dumping tons of plastic into the world’s ocean isn’t going to work. I think topic’s like United Nations meetings need to address issues like this. I think this issue needs to be an world topic because if one country continues to dump millions of pounds of plastic in the ocean, damage is still being done just at an lesser rate. So, the first hurdle is to spread the issue to the major countries that contribute to this issue. Countries like Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam need to be held accountable. Another way to limit the amount of plastic in the ocean is simple, stop producing so much. Countries around the world need to not let so much plastic be produced. The reason waste is getting dumbed in the world’s oceans is that that there is so much of it they don’t know what to do with it. Instead of serving coffee in plastic cups, aka Starbucks, they should use an more ecofriendly plastic, or even better, paper. The less amount of non-biodegradable plastic produced the more waste ends up out of the ocean. The third process is to create an team that has one simple task, remove waste in the ocean. This plan although is tedious and lots of man hours, still helps the problem of waste in the ocean. In an perfect world all the countries would agree to stop putting waste in the ocean and start limiting the production of plastic but that’s never going to happen, at least completely. We need to implement another layer of defense and that where this comes to play. The government of the U.S. should create an branch of the coast guard whose sole purpose is to go deep in the ocean and collect waste floating around. They shall be provided big nets to pick up thousands of pounds of plastic in an big cargo boat. The boat should bring the plastic to land and discard it somewhere safe so it does not end up in the ocean again. With multiple efforts to reduce the amount of plastic and waste in the ocean, produce more bio-degradable waste, and clean up the already existing plastic ocean the ecosystem will thank us in the long run. Finally, us as humans can do little things every day to help reduce the amount of waste in the ocean. We can, not eat out as much, not use straws, recycle the appropriate things, and just overall be more cautious of our daily actions as the can have rippling effects on our environment.

Essay by: Grant Benich
Arizona State University

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