McAlister Students Tackle Our Trash

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Space Should Be Explored First

By Annie Melanson – 5th Grader
Did you know that there are pieces of trash floating around the Earth? The largest piece of trash found in space was the size of a refrigerator. Well, there is. That is why we need to explore space before we explore the deep sea. There are discoveries that we can make and problems that we need to solve. Space exploration is more important than ocean exploration. One reason is because there is so much trash orbiting our Earth, and another reason why we should focus on space exploration is because we can discover if there is more life out there. Yes, learning about the ocean is important, but what about these discoveries we can make, and those problems that need to be solved? This is important because the ocean is not as important as space. If there is something happening in space, then it could affect our Earth, which can affect us. We need to explore space first.

One reason we should explore space first is because there is so much trash and I mean SO much trash orbiting our planet Earth. The first example is, as I mentioned before, there is trash up in space, and that problem is not getting better. The amount of garbage in space gets bigger over the span of a year. The trash floating around can seriously damage spacecraft or a satellite. Engineer Hugh Lewis did calculations and found out that if we remove large pieces of trash, specifically ten pieces of garbage in about a year, “The growth of space junk could slow down.” This comes from the article “Wanted: Garbage Collectors in Space.” In addition, why we should explore space more is because in the article, “Wanted: Garbage Collectors in Space,” Nicholas Johnson said, ‘We don’t know how to clean up even one.” This shows us that if we don’t know how to pick up one piece then how will the problem get solved? The final reason why we should explore space first because of trash is because if a broken satellite does not fall back to earth and burn in the atmosphere it will create more space trash, this shows that we need to find ways to pick up the trash, so we need to keep exploring.

My second reason why we should explore space before the deep sea is because we can discover more things that we haven’t noticed before. For example, we can find out if there are other living things out in space. In the article, “Buzz Aldrin Interview,” it said, “if located at the appropriate distance from the star, it could potentially contain life.” This proves that there could possibly be life other than on our planet Earth. We just need to focus and work hard to prove that to others.

In conclusion I think that we should explore space before the ocean. One reason is because there is trash orbiting our planet Earth. And my second reason is that we can discover if there is other life out there. So next time one of your friends or someone in your family asks you if you think that we should explore the deep sea or outer space, I think you know your answer.

Plastic Waste

By Hadley Theriaque – 5th Grader
Have you ever thought about how the world can end up if we continue to let plastic bags, plastic bottles, and other trash drift in the ocean? It’s estimated that by 2050 plastic trash can outweigh more than the fish in the ocean! Plastic bags should be banned.
The sun usually breaks the plastic in tiny pieces which means it can become almost impossible to pick up from the ocean! And if a fish opens its mouth, then it could go flying in their mouth and suffocate them! The author of Tiny Plastic, Big Problem, Alison Pearce Stevens, claims that “in 2012, 288 million metric tons (317.5 million short tons) of plastic were produced worldwide” which means more than that mass of plastic is in the ocean right now! Plastic is not biodegradable.

If a bird gets stuck in plastic, they can suffer from drowning. If bags fall on land or in the ocean, they can hurt sea turtles and fish. Animals can get stuck in nets and suffer from that. Animals like dogs also eat the plastic stranded on the road. They will smell leftover crumbs and eat plastic or just any animal in general. This is because plastic is not biodegradable. Would you want all these marine animals or land animals to go to an agonizing death? Plastic is really bad for our environment! If a marine animal ate any plastic items, it would make its way to their lungs, stay there in their lungs making it harder and harder to breathe each day because all that plastic does not break down for a long time!

Did you know that plastic can become a part of the human food chain? All of the plastic produced creates this substance that leaks into the ground and creates an oil that seeps into food! You could be eating plastic anytime right now, and do you want that? It can take years off your life or just take all of your life away if you get too much! If you eat seafood and there’s plastic in that seafood that transfers into all of the food, you would be eating.

In conclusion, plastic is very bad for our environment and can become bad for us humans, too, or animals. So, if you don’t want the world to become a worse place for us humans to stay, then you should make a move! We can fix this problem by buying reusable bags instead of plastic because plastic holds bacteria to our food. What’s held inside of it can become unhealthy for you to eat and make you sick from that bacteria anyway. You can also pick up the trash from a beach like my friend and I did. We went to the beach in a town called Madison and picked up two trash bags of trash, and the beach was all clean afterwards! We made a difference because beach people can also do this too and work together to have this issue fixed and all plastic will be gone! We can fix this issue! Let’s prove the scientists wrong and by 2050 there will be no plastic!

Plastic Bags

By McKayla Dowe – 5th Grader
Have you ever taken a drive and seen a place filled with litter and plastic bags? Did you know that sea animals can get strangled and hurt by plastic bags? Plastic bags should be banned. I know we can all make a difference to our planet earth. We can do it if we try.

Too much plastic – where do I start? Well, everywhere. One country that has a lot of trash is India. I know from the article, “If You Drop Plastic in the Ocean Where Does It Go?” by Alan Evans. “India is one of the world’s biggest plastic polluters. This country creates more than 15,000 tons of plastic waste a day.” I know that more places have plastic/ litter, not just India. Whenever you see plastic/litter, stop and pick it up so Connecticut doesn’t become covered with litter.

You probably are wondering how long plastic bags last? I found a good article called “Plastic Problem” by Natalie Smith. It states that plastic bags take “10 to 20 years to break down.” It’s a big problem because they do not disintegrate. This could lead to a very big problem. If all the plastic just keeps getting put into our landfills, but never breaks down, we will run out of space to store it all. Eventually our plastic trash will take over.

If you are wondering if plastic bags are harmful to humans and animals, the answer is YES! According to an article called, “If You Drop Plastic in the Ocean Where Does It End Up?” by Alan Evans, ‘’A 2016 reporter predicted that, by 2050, the amount of plastic in the sea will outweigh the amount of fish.” This means that more fish will eat the plastic and get very sick or die from it. This will disrupt our food chain and ecosystem. I find it very scary to think that there could be more plastic in the ocean than the fish. Also, I found this article called “Tiny plastic, big problem” by Alison Pearce Stevens. This is what it stated in the article specifically: “The pesticide DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls are two such toxic contaminants that have been found in ocean-going plastics … One reason these contaminants were banned is because of the way they affect animals and people. When eaten, the chemicals work their way into an animal’s tissue. And there they stay.” This also means that when animals eat plastic bags, they won’t break down in their stomachs. The plastic will stay inside the animal’s body for its whole life or can even kill the animal. This also means we (humans) can be eating plastic. If we consume an animal that has plastic in its body, we are in turn eating plastic. Think about it, if you litter and that animal ate your litter it’s as if the animal is giving it right back to you.

In conclusion I hope we can all clean our world and help ban plastic. Next time you go shopping or drink a bottle of soda think of how this little thing can hurt us all.

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