Island Times Blog

The Problem With Plastic

July 23rd, 2013 by SeaTrek Staff |

Today we switched gears a bit and assisted another CEI researcher who was born and raised in the Bahamas with her field work focusing on marine debris and plastic pollution (continued…)

It was quite an eye-opening experience to find so much plastic debris within just one small area of one beach that didn’t seem to be frequented by people that often. We set up a transect line and sorted the plastic debris into micro (less than 2.5 cm) and macro (greater than 2.5 cm) pieces. Then we weighed and categorized it. The most common debris we found was plastic bottles, plastic bags and nylon rope/fishing line. As much as the students were disappointed in finding so much trash, it was the perfect learning opportunity, as we discussed potential sources of the debris and the impact it has upon the health of the ocean. The problems associated with marine debris are also ones that individuals can address on a personal level – by reducing and reusing materials, hosting trash pick-ups/beach clean-ups, choosing products that are not plastic-based, supporting brands that reduce packaging, and by using reusable bags and water bottles. After lunch students met with their team scientists and continued working on their research project presentations. It’s hard to believe how much they’ve learned in such a short time. We can’t wait for their presentations tomorrow. After dinner we had the perfect end to a wonderful day – we had a campfire and ate s’mores on the beach. We also sang songs, played games and enjoyed a gorgeous moonrise over the ocean…it was absolutely lovely!

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