(Photo courtesy/Kaitlyn Ryan)
November 17, 2019
by Kaitlyn Ryan
ALPENA –The increasing production and discarding of plastic is taking a toll on the environment, causing a worldwide problem that desperately needs to be addressed –including along the shores of the Great Lakes.
From product materials to packaging, plastic has infiltrated so many aspects of daily life that it is difficult to know where to even start making a change.
A 2017 study led by Jenna R. Jambeck and published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Science Advances estimates that 12 billion metric tons of plastic waste will be in landfills or the natural environment by 2050 if current production and waste management trends go unchanged.
Because it is seeping into the environment at such a rapid pace and research about prevention is in its infancy, scientists are unable to fully comprehend just how big the problem potentially is for the environment and people.
Heather Rawlings from the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office told The Alpena News that microplastics in our Great Lakes is posing a major threat.
“I’m sure the wildlife is being affected by this,” Rawlings said. “It’s getting eaten and getting into the food chain. There is no doubt.”
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