The Impact of Plastic Products on the Ecology (Literature Review Example)

A Review of the Research Articles

Nowadays plastic have found its application almost in every sphere of life. This material appears to be extremely useful for the society, being utilized for domestic activities and medicine aims. At the same time, a dramatic increase in its consumption and production leads to inevitable adverse consequences for the environment. Thus, plastic debris in the ocean kills sea creatures and pollutes the water, while toxic chemicals that are emitted during the decomposition of plastic negatively affect humans. This research analyzes not only the condition of the problem at present but also the reaction of the society on it and the attempts to mitigate the issue. The review of the literature illustrates that scientists and ecologists all over the world are concerned with the impact of plastic products on the ecology and look for the possible solutions. All in all, despite its cheapness and convenience, plastic turn out to be one of the biggest enemies of humanity and our planet. That is why it is crucial for the society to become aware of the problem and take actions to tackle it.

Recently, an increase in the production and use of plastic has become a serious threat to the ecological condition of the whole planet. Thus, plastic pollutes the air and the oceanic water, kills animals, and ruins fertility of the land and habitats of numerous species. The society did not pay serious attention to the problem until recently. Nowadays more and more articles and books are written and research studies are conducted to investigate the negative influence of plastic on the environment and outline possible solutions to the problem. Ecologists, scientists, and biologists precisely examine every sphere of plastic usage and possible ways of its ecological utilization.

There are some general questions which the modern society aims to answer:

  • What are the spheres of plastic application?
  • What are the possible consequences of its usage for the environment?
  • What can be done to reduce its negative influence?

A detailed investigation of plastic and its influence on the environment underlines the increasing threat to the ecology caused by the use and production of this material and urges the need to search for the possible solutions.

What Are the Spheres of Plastic Application?

The spheres of plastic utilization in the modern world as well as its benefits and drawbacks are discussed in the article “Plastics and Environmental Health: The Road Ahead” by Emily J. North and Rolf U. Halden. The entry concentrates on the application of plastic in healthcare and food industries and outlines opportunities of biodegradable plastic packaging, reduction of plastic waste, and its recycling for a more sustainable future consumption (North & Halden, 2013).The article has a well-organized structure and starts with a short but informative introduction to the issue followed by the evaluation of both negative and positive impacts of plastic,; it ends with outlining possible ways to reduce the usage of the material to sustainable levels. The entry presents current and relevant data which highly contribute to the further research of the problem. What is more, the authors use background investigation, such as numerous researches and studies which were conducted earlier and explored the same subject (North & Halden, 2013). All the ideas and arguments that are described in the article are of a high quality and supported by scholarly studies and surveys. The structure of the source is comprehensive and cohesive due to the presence of logical connections between paragraphs and ideas. Thus, the presented arguments lead to a simple but valid conclusion: the community needs to reduce plastic consumption to improve the ecological situation throughout the globe (North & Halden, 2013).

The information presented in the entry reflects sophistication of reasoning utilized by the authors, who explore the issue from different angles and try to analyze possible consequences. Although the article does not have anys creative or innovative arguments, the writers describe not new but less known strategies which aim to mitigate the harmful effect of plastic products on the environment. In addition, two controversial points about the importance of plastic for the modern society are presented in the entry. Thus, the authors draw to a conclusion that humanity cannot completely refuse from using plastic but should seek for more efficient ways of its consumption. They skillfully interpret all the previous studies and researches and present them in a more comprehensive and innovative way. Nevertheless, since the source is taken from the scholarly magazine, there are some sentences or even points which are not easy to read for those who are not familiar enough with scientific terminology. There are no grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors in the text of the entry. The well-organized and logical structure of the entry proves that authors have a clear understanding of the presented material. Finally, the article contributes a lot to the discussed problem and introduces new perspectives and ways to its solution.

What Are the Possible Consequences of Its Usage for the Environment?

The impact of plastic on the environment is investigated more closely in the scholarly article “Accumulation and Fragmentation of Plastic Debris in Global Environments” by Barnes, Galgani, Thompson, and Barlaz. The entry describes the processes of accumulation and fragmentation of plastic and explores an increase in plastic debris on the shoreline. The authors state that growth of plastic debris in the world ocean has become a real threat to the marine wildlife due to toxic chemicals which are present in the material (Barnes, Galgani, Thompson, & Barlaz, 2009).The structure of the source includes introduction to the problem, analysis of plastic accumulation in the landfill and marine world, and, finally, fragmentation of plastic in the environment (Barnes et al., 2009). The article ends with a conclusion that outlines the need to reduce the release of plastic into nature and find more efficient strategies of its recycling. All the presented arguments do not reflect a great depth of reasoning. They rather present the analysis and evaluation of previous research and data about the problem. The authors synthesize and analyze findings of the previous studies about the issue and incorporate them into the article by applying their interpretation. Nevertheless, all the information presented in the article is current and relevant to the investigation of the problem. The authors use a lot of background studies, which make their research more scientific and valid.

What is more, all the ideas and arguments presented in the entry are of a high quality and supported by scientific data. The logical structure of argumentation leads to conclusions about the threat of further accumulation of plastic to the ecology of the planet. However, there are no new strategies, alternative perspectives, or creativity in the source but a description of the current condition. At the same time, a precise analysis of plastic influence on the marine life can be regarded as an innovative perspective on the problem. The information is presented in a logical, structured, and comprehensive way, which illustrates the knowledge and control of the material by the authors. There are no grammatical, punctuation, or spelling mistakes in the article, and all the sentences can be easily understood. At the same time, the authors use a lot of scientific terms, which sometimes cannot be interpreted without a dictionary. All in all, the article benefits greatly to the exploration of the problem and urges the need for new studies on the impact of plastic on the environment and possible ways to mitigate the issue.

Furthermore, a completely new perspective on the problem of plastic accumulation is presented in the article “Plastics in Oceans Decompose, Release Hazardous Chemicals, Surprising New Study Says,” which was published by the American Chemical Society. The entry presents a shocking and tremendous discovery: despite all the assumptions about plastic as a non-degradable material, it appears to decompose with surprising speed and release toxic chemicals. Thus, scientists state that plastic usually decomposes when it is exposed to rain or sun, emitting a lot of dangerous chemicals that cannot decompose further. The entry outlines the negative influence of plastic on animals: decomposed chemicals disrupt the functioning of hormones in the organisms and negatively affect their reproductive systems (American Chemical Society, 2009).

Although the information presented in the article is original and highly relevant to the issue, the writing style of the source does not meet the requirements of scientific literature. What is more, the entry lacks an organized structure, introduction to the problem, or any conclusions about possible solutions to it. All the ideas and arguments are of a high quality and supported by the opinions and comments of numerous scientists who explore the negative impact of plastic on the environment. The source also refers to some background investigation to underline an increase in plastic debris in the world ocean. At the same time, comprehensiveness of the arguments does not lead to any conclusions, whereas the simplicity of structure and presentation of arguments may illustrate absence of sophisticated reasoning. The original approach and viewpoints on the issue become an innovative characteristic of the entry. Thus, the article concentrates on a completely innovative and shocking idea that plastic decomposes at a very high speed.

In addition, the authors analyze the issue from two different perspectives: plastic decomposes quickly, but it leads to even greater pollution of the environment. Furthermore, there is no evidence of synthesis and analysis of the materials in the source. That is why it seems that the research is just reported by the authors and not analyzed. There are no errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation in the text of the entry. All the sentences are comprehensive and easy to read, though they have a scientific context. All in all, the outlined information appears to be very current and crucial for the further research and may be applicable during the investigation of possible ways to prevent decomposition of plastic into toxic and dangerous chemicals.

What is more, a detailed analysis of the environmental consequences of ever-increasing plastic debris in the world ocean is also provided in the article “Environmental Implications of Plastic Debris in Marine Settings—Entanglement, Ingestion, Smothering, Hangers-On, Hitch-Hiking and Alien Invasions” by M. R. Gregory. The source provides an insight into the potential dangers of plastic debris for the ecology. Thus, the author describes such negative phenomena as entanglement, ingestion, suffocation, general debilitation, the presence of hangers-on and hitch-hiking alien-invasive species. The entry presents a precise and highly informative overview of the most important threats of plastic to the marine wildlife. The article meets the requirements of scientific literature and contributes to further development of the research. All the outlined data are of a high quality and taken from numerous scholarly articles and studies (Gregory, 2009). What is more, the author includes a background investigation to support his arguments and present the topicality of the research in detail. The entry has a well-structured organization. Thus, it includes an introduction to the problem, a precise analysis of each impact of plastic debris on the environment, the discussion of the issue, and a catalog of some of the invading species (Gregory, 2009).

The presentation of the material makes it obvious that the author has a clear control over the data. All the points are presented in a comprehensive and logical way and lead the reader to certain conclusions. The logical and informative structure, presentation, and skillful choice of facts and data indicate the depth and sophistication of reasoning. Furthermore, the author does not only report the information but also analyzes and interprets it for the readers. On the other hand, the article lacks originality and creativity in the source since the writer presents not new but a different perspective on the same problem. Although the article does not offer absolutely new ideas or strategies, it provides a precise analysis of the environmental consequences of plastic debris, which is innovative in its form and content. Thus, the entry appears to be extremely useful not only for average readers but also for scientists and ecologists who will conduct a further research into the problem. The language of the article is scientific and, at the same time, comprehensive. There are no grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors in the source. To sum up, the source gives a deep insight into one of the biggest threats to the present-day wildlife – plastic debris. It describes in detail all possible negative consequences of the dramatic increase in plastic debris and urges the need to attract attention to the issue all over the world.

Anthony L. Andrady in his article “Microplastics in the Marine Environment” concentrates on the damaging impact of microplatic on the oceanic waters. The entry addresses such negative phenomena as the ingestion of microparticles by the marine wildlife and pollution of the beaches with plastic waste. What is more, the author underlines that potential damages caused by plastic are unexplored and can pose a new threat to the world community. Finally, the article leads to a conclusion that emergence of plastic as a new pollutant of the ocean environment creates the need to explore its origin and ecological impact. The entry also includes background investigation, such as the research data and studies of the last years. All the ideas and arguments in the article are supported by scholarly sources and scientific material. In addition, the author analyzes and synthesizes findings of researches of the same topicality and provides his interpretation of the issue and its possible solutions. The arguments are logically organized, high-quality, and comprehensive enough for the reader. Thus, the well-organized structure of the article as well as the choice of the material leads the readers to the outlined conclusions. There are no errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation in the entry. The innovation of the source lies in the fact that the author presents original ideas and alternative strategies to mitigate plastic pollution. What is more, a skillful presentation of all the arguments, ideas, strategies and their logical structuring in the entry indicates comprehensive knowledge of the outlined material by the author.

What Can Be Done to Reduce Its Negative Influence?

Solutions and strategies of reducing the negative influence of plastic are outlined in the article “Choking the Oceans with Plastic” by Charles J. Moore. Plastic as the most common pollutant of the ocean waters is in the focus of the source. First of all, the entry concentrates on the increase in the quantity of plastic waste and its possible consequences for the ecology. In particular, the author analyzes the deleterious impact of plastic pollution, such as murdering of sea creatures, slow biodegradation, and intoxication of marine wildlife and humans. Finally, the source outlines some possible strategies to mitigate the situation (Moore, 2014). Thus, the author states that only by preventing synthetic debris from getting into the ocean, a measurable reduction of plastic pollution can be achieved (Moore, 2014). The article is well-organized, logically structured, and comprehensive. The author outlines the issue, then presents the results of the conducted research, analyzes the attempts of the society to mitigate the problem, and concludes by underlining the need to explore the issue. What is more, all the ideas and arguments in the entry are supported by the original and current data, such as the results of the research in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch conducted by the author (Moore, 2014).

The source contributes a lot to further exploration of the negative influence of plastic on the environment and discusses the current ecological condition of the oceanic waters. The author analyzes and synthesizes the results of the research and interprets them for the readers. That is why all ideas and points can be easily understood are connected, thus leading to logical conclusions. All the data presented in the entry are of a high quality and underpinned by the materials and findings of the conducted research. The article presents new innovative strategies to reduce plastic pollution in the world and describes the actions of the society to solve the problem. In addition, the author outlines numerous perspectives on the threat to the ecology and provides alternative measures to reduce the plastic debris. The article is deprived of any grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes and is written in simple and clear sentences.

Not only the increasing quantity of plastic and its impact on the environment but also the ways to mitigate the issue are explored in another article “Plastics, the Environment and Human Health: Current Consensus and Future Trends” written by Richard C. Thompson, Charles J. Moore, Frederick S. von Saal, and Shanna H. Swan. The scientists claim that everyday usage and annual production of plastic products are increasing significantly. Such tendency can lead to fatal consequences and bring damages to the ecosystem of the planet. The entry synthesizes all the benefits and drawbacks of the increasing role of plastic in the modern society. It outlines future priorities, challenges, and opportunities of its use. The authors name such negative consequences of plastic usage as the accumulation of plastic in landfills and natural habitats, ingestion, entanglement in plastic, and dangerous chemicals emission (Thompson, Moore, Saal, & Swan, 2009). The biggest concern of the scientists refers to unsustainable usage of plastic products, which leads to an increase in pollution and aggravates the situation. The article ends with the outlined solutions to the problem, such as end-of-life recyclability, reduction of material and littering, and creation of bio-based feedstock (Thompson et al., 2009).

The authors arrange their ideas and arguments in a structured and logical way, starting from an overview of plastic as a material. Then they proceed to a detail analysis of each aspect of its negative influence on the environment, and end the entry with the description of policy measures which can be taken to reduce accumulation and production of plastic. All the arguments and ideas in the source are of a high quality and underpinned by numerous studies and findings of previous researches. The scientists also include some background investigation, which helps them to depict the problem more precisely. What is more, the well-organized structure of the text makes it comprehensive, easy to read, and leads to logical conclusions. Although the article was written in 2009, all the presented data can be considered as current and essential for further investigation of the issue. In addition, there are no grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors in the source. The entry illustrates synthesis and analysis of the material and its further interpretation by the authors. Furthermore, the logical presentation of the ideas and a skillful choice of the presented data indicate that writers have a full control of the material. Finally, the article does not include any alternative views on the problem but incorporates some modern strategies of reducing plastic pollution all over the world.

To sum up, plastic products have become an indispensable part of modern life and are applied in every sphere of human activities. At the same time, the increasing role of plastic turns to be a serious threat to the ecology of the planet and future of the community. Thus, a lot of scientists, biologists, and ecologists are concerned with the potential impacts of plastic on the environment. They explore its origin, composition, application, and accumulation. What is more important, the modern society is searching for all possible ways to reduce production and consumption of plastic and thus save marine wildlife from its harmful influence.

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