Many companies package products using materials that take long to decompose, like plastic, because it is cheap and structurally sound. However, this affects the environment drastically, by stealing animals’ homes and forcing change upon the lives of millions of creatures in the wild.

For example, many different types of habitats are heavily affected by plastic packaging among other packaging that is barely decomposable. First, the main habitat these packing materials affect are bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, ponds, and the ocean. This can greatly change the lives of many types of animals like fish, other marine life, or even certain types of birds. This gives the animals living in the water less space to live and more confusing unnatural landmarks which can affect their behaviors in different situations. Birds could also pick up a piece of plastic from the waters, thinking it is a fish to eat, but it turns out to be trash, which they could easily choke and die from. One specific example of a situation like this is the image of a sea turtle with a plastic straw in his nose, which got many people worked up and a lot of people started using metal straws instead. Although their mind was in the right place, this is not the main plastic threat to sea turtles in the wild. The main threat is plastic grocery store bags, which when they are found floating in the ocean by these sea turtles, look like jellyfish, a large part of the sea turtle diet, and this mistake could easily cost a sea turtle its life. Also, on a selfish level this plastic pollution in bodies of water can lower the population of fish, which lowers the fish supply for food, and this shows just how counterproductive the use of plastic packaging can be.

Secondly, this trash destroys our home. Although many have their own house, the earth is still their home just as much as any other living thing on this planet. For example, most people would prefer for their rooms to be clean, as when it is a mess there is no room to walk and it is chaotic and hard to find things. This is just like in the wild when an animal’s home is a mess it gets frustrated and confused and can’t find things, because the trash is covering up the ground. Lastly, if my mother gave me something to eat in my room, but I did not have a trash can in my room, I would throw the trash on the ground. Although this is not all my mother’s fault, it is the same thing with these major corporations who utilize plastic packaging. Many people are without recycling services available to them, and so most people just throw the plastic in the trash, which ends up at the dump and can blow away to a wonderful animal’s home. So in addition to the change in packaging, I believe companies should also make an effort to promote healthy recycling habits and work to get recycling to every community.

In conclusion, companies should adopt environmentally friendly packaging to keep their home a clean and safe place to live for all.

Essay by: Camden Nieman
Midlothian Heritage High School

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