Florida Gulf Coast University Continuous Protection of Water Bodies Discussion: Environmental Science Answers 2021

Florida Gulf Coast University Continuous Protection of Water Bodies Discussion: Environmental Science Answers 2021

Florida Gulf Coast University Continuous Protection of Water Bodies Discussion: Environmental Science Answers 2021

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Florida Gulf Coast University Continuous Protection of Water Bodies Discussion

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Water Pollution and Plastics in Washington
State
Plastic pollution is a huge problem worldwide that may not be
completely solvable by any of us. In 2016 alone the United
States produced 42 million metric tons of trash pollution. If
we’re being more specific Washington State uses over 2 billion
plastic bags a year and less than 5 percent of them are recycled.
Less than 10 percent of plastic waste in the United States was
collected for recycling much of it was shipped to other countries
with ineffective waste management systems.
(YaleEnvironment360, 2020)
Puget Sound is suffering from this here in Washington State
because of plastic pollution that can persist in the waters for
hundreds of years we are killing and harming whales, turtles,
seabirds, and the general marine wildlife. (Environment
Washington, 2011) A significant part of the problem is plastic
bags we use on a daily basis. Most of the billions of plastic bags
end up in landfills, the streets, streams, beaches, or the literal
wind. Every single water sample in Puget Sounds lakes and
rivers has detected plastic pollution inside of it this long term
can kill off the fishes and make it untenable to use the rivers
and lakes for resources. (Environment Washington, 2011)
To the right of my words is
a Washington State
landfill one of many where
The trash and plastic
pollution doesn’t go
Anywhere. Now its not all
bad more than 80 national and local governments around the
world have taken actions to protect the ocean and reducing the
use of plastic(Environment Washington, 2011) Two Washington
cities have taken action to reduce plastic bag pollution and
education is teaching us of this so that we can make an impact.
Potential Solutions and Sustainable
Development Goals
With us producing more than 2 billion plastic bags per year one
of the solutions to the problem would be reducing plastic use.
Banning distribution of thin plastics and disposable plastics is a
common method in some countries these days which we can
adopt. On top of this we can add fees on companies that use
plastic items. (Environment Washington, 2011)
The image below has general strategies to help fix the problem
State legislators have set a goal
for Washington State by 2025 that
all packaging sold in Washington
will be 100% recyclable, reusable,
or compostable, and that the
packaging will have at least 20%
use of previously recycled
materials. To do this we will need
innovations in packaging designs
and a full scope of the problem.
(Department of Ecology State of Washington, 2020)
A new Washington state law has banned sales of some plastics,
and requires people to recycle more. The ;law has given a
definition of who is responsible for meeting the standards. It
will reduce use of plastic straws, utensils, condiment packages
and cold-cup lids. It also makes it illegal for food services to
have them be immediate add ons. The bill will also by 2024 ban
Styrofoam as well as certain packing materials. (Hal Berton of
the Seattle Times, Apr 22, 2021) To promote this we can
support the bill and follow its guidelines.
To the right is some
Of the general things
We should follow
To better our
Communities plastic
Problem.
Potential Solutions and Sustainable
Development Goals Continued
Other solutions for fixing plastic pollution is phasing out fossil
fuels from which plastic is made out of and general phasing out
th
of the items. (Rebecca B. Kimber, Jul 16 , 2020) Nuclear
power seems to be the most effective substitute for fossil fuels
though a bit unsafe if not properly regulated so is fossil fuels for
the environment. Another other solution would be in improving
waste management technology and making plastic better by
th
improving recycling. (Rebecca B. Kimber, Jul 16 , 2020)
Now as for how this relates to Sustainable Development Goals it
tangentially can relate to number 7 Affordable and Clean Energy
if we phase out fossil fuels and number 8 Decent Work and
Economic Growth if jobs supporting fossil fuels were replaced
with jobs supporting alternative fuels. Now Responsible
Consumption and Itemion sustainable development goal 12
can be fixed with replacing plastics and improving waste
management as well as cleaning up the ocean. Lastly it
definitely relates to cleaning up the ocean sustainable
development goal 13 of keeping Life Below Water fine by
cleaning the ocean and protecting the marine wildlife.
“Home Page.” Yale E360, E360 DIGEST, 2 Nov. 2020, e360.yale.edu/digest/u-s-is-a-larger-source-of-plastic-pollution-thanpreviously-thought-report-finds.
Environment Washington Research & Policy Center. (2011, November 17). Keep Plastic Out of Puget Sound.
Environment
Washington. https://environmentwashington.org/programs/keep-plastic-out-pugetsound#:~:text=Two%20billion%20bags%20used%20each,all%20of%20Puget%20Sound’s%20wildlife.&text=Yet%202%
20billion%20plastic%20bags,of%20plastic%20bags%20are%20recycled.
Kingfisher, A. (n.d.). Studying Washington’s plastic packaging. Plastics study – Washington State Department of Ecology.
https://ecology.wa.gov/Waste-Toxics/Reducing-recycling-waste/Plastics-study.
Jones, S. (n.d.). Washington’s single-use plastic bag ban. Plastic bag ban – Washington State Department of Ecology.
https://ecology.wa.gov/Waste-Toxics/Reducing-recycling-waste/Plastic-bag-ban.
Bernton , H. (2021, April 22). New Washington state law to ban sales of some plastic, require more recycling. Yakima
Herald-Republic. https://www.yakimaherald.com/news/state_news/new-washington-state-law-to-ban-sales-of-someplastic-require-more-recycling/article_10606c08-a399-11eb-b346-cfe9728d3d59.html.
Environment Washington Research & Policy Center. (2011, November 17). Keep Plastic Out of Puget Sound. Keep
Plastic Out of Puget Sound | Environment Washington Research and Policy Center.
https://environmentwashingtoncenter.org/reports/wac/keep-plastic-out-puget-sound.
Plastic in our Oceans
The Issue
• One of the many major
environmental issues that we are
facing is the ever-rising levels of
plastic in our oceans
• Plastic hurts our sea life and
contaminates the environment
Solutions
Solution #1
• Recycle things (when possible) rather than
throwing them away
• Check with your local recycling center for
information on what can and cannot be recycled
• Try to be conscious of these when throwing
things away
Solution #2
• Limit purchases on foods and other items that
come in plastic containers
• When grocery shopping, look for foods that come
in recyclable or biodegradable containers
• This method is sustainable and lowers the risk
that plastic containers will end up in the ocean
Solution #3
• Put sandwiches, snacks, and other food items in
reusable containers, rather than plastic bags or
single use containers
• If everyone used reusable containers, it
would dramatically reduce the likelihood that
items like the ones pictured to the left will end up
in the ocean.
Solution #4
• Bring reusable bags to the grocery store
• Just like with solution #3, using reusable bags instead of
plastic ones while buying groceries or shopping will help
protect marine life amd the environment.
Sustainability Goals
• The UN’s Sustainability Goal #14, Life Below
Water, ties in to this issue because it focuses on
conserving our ocean and the sea life within it.
References

United Nations. (n.d.).
Goal 14 | Department of
Economic and Social
Affairs. United Nations.
https://sdgs.un.org/goa
ls/goal14.
• Compton, J. (2019, March
18). 8 simple ways to
reduce your plastic use.
NBCNews.com.
https://www.nbcnews.com
/better/lifestyle/8-simpleways-reduce-your-plasticuse-ncna984396.
SOIL DEGRADATION
SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Alex Bailey
As of 2018, 40% of the soil in Africa is
degraded. This means that the soil does
not obtain enough minerals to produce
crops, leading to extreme erosion. The soil
becomes weak because the roots from the
trees and other vegetation are absent,
their roots act like rebar in concrete,
without it, the concrete is brittle and
easily breaks down over time. This is also
making it very difficult for the farmers to
maintain healthy crop yields.
A few solutions would be limit framing,
although this is a main industry for Africa,
the only way to renew the land is to stop
disturbing it. Planting more trees that can
withstand the environment is also an
excellent way to renew the land, the roots
from the trees will structure the land and
protect it from erosion. Lastly, farmers
are experimenting with zero-tillage
farming. This process doesn’t expose bare
soil, it also allows for the land to maintain
moisture.
This topic is relevant to
Climate Action and Life on
Land. Through the
restoration and protection
of trees and vegetation,
combating against
deforestation, both of
these topics take soil
degradation into
consideration.
Citation
Nana-Sinkam, S. C. (1995, February). The Magnitude of
the Problem.
https://www.fao.org/3/X5318E/x5318e02.htm.
Purdy, L. (2021, March 15). 5 possible solutions to soil
degradation. Positive News.
https://www.positive.news/environment/soildegradation-five-possible-solutions/%20%C2%A0.
Thompsell, A. (2018, August 4). Causes and Efforts to
Control Soil Erosion in Africa. ThoughtCo.
https://www.thoughtco.com/soil-erosion-in-africa43352#:~:text=Increased%20population%20and%20d
evelopment%20put%20greater%20stress%20on%20s
oils.&text=Overgrazing%20and%20poor%20farming
%20techniques,in%20tropical%20and%20mountainou
s%20regions.
Thompsell, A. (2018, August 4). Causes and Efforts to
Control Soil Erosion in Africa. ThoughtCo.
https://www.thoughtco.com/soil-erosion-in-africa43352#:~:text=Increased%20population%20and%20d
evelopment%20put%20greater%20stress%20on%20s
oils.&text=Overgrazing%20and%20poor%20farming
%20techniques,in%20tropical%20and%20mountainou
s%20regions.
New programme to boost soil itemivity and reduce
soil degradation in Africa – World. ReliefWeb. (2018,
June 13). https://reliefweb.int/report/world/newprogramme-boost-soil-itemivity-and-reducesoil-degradation-africa.

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