Plastic is An Invisible Way of Pollution


Olivia Zhang, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, May 8th, State High English As A Second Language students went on a field trip to the Penn State Palmer Museum Of Art for “Plastic Entanglement”. Artists from different countries contributed their artworks that related to plastic.

The Archive”, one of the projects, showed the raw material of plastic, a nurdle. A nurdle is a very small pellet of plastic with white color. Nurdles are manufactured from petroleum-based, non-renewable resources. Many creatures in the ocean accidentally eat nurdles as their food. Those nurdles have stayed inside their bodies until researchers dissected their dead bodies and discovered the plastic. “The fact that our animals are dying because of human beings’ negligence is disgusting and repulsive to me, that’s how I feel about it,” Ms.Harpster said. 

According to a statistic of the New York Times, “About 300 million tons of plastic is produced globally each year. Only ten percent of that is recycled.” Therefore, most of the plastic isn’t recycled, but thrown away. Many water bottles are deep in oceans or left on beaches with no solution. Animals in the ocean eat that plastic. Since plastic isn’t digestible, the chemicals that make up the plastic stay in their body. Later on, when humans eat seafood, those chemicals are consumed by people. Plastic is going through the food chain and stays inside human body.

The fact is that people don’t realize how plastic harms our oceans. Using disposable plastic is convenient, with no need to clean or wash. Unlike water bottles, many small pieces of plastic are used everywhere but aren’t recycled in daily life. Large tons of plastic are composed of small pieces added together. “I don’t think it’s out of people trying to be wasteful, it’s out of apathy. Out of unconsciously thinking when they act,” Harpster said.

In ESL class, English teacher Ms.Harpster and social studies teacher Mr.Wilson talked about plastic. The “Plastic Entanglement” was an display of international plastic works and a great chance for students and teachers to take a tour and learn from it.