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Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org 1-Front © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

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Presentation on theme: "Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org 1-Front © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org 1-Front © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

2 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org This picture shows the body of an Albatross found on the beach which is home to the largest concentration of these birds in the world. Among the contents of its body are a cigarette lighter, several plastic bottle caps, and various other pieces of plastic trash. The Albatross is the largest sea bird in the world and has a wing span of over 10 feet. It is estimated that 40% of these young birds die from ingesting plastic. The islands where they live are located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean which reportedly has the largest concentration of plastic trash found in any of our oceans. The area of plastic trash is often referred to as “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” and has been described as being almost twice the size of Texas. 1-Back © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

3 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org 2-Front © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

4 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org Explain to the students that plastic rings from water and juice bottles are dangerous. This turtle swam through one of these plastic rings when it was a baby, then grew up with the ring around it. Unfortunately he lived his whole life with the ring around his body. His spinal cord is exposed now. This picture shows how much littering can damage our wildlife. (Photo courtesy Dino Ferri, Audubon Institute). 2-Back © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

5 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org 3-Front © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

6 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org Ask the students to tell you what they think this sea otter is doing. At first glance this looks like a sea otter playing with a plastic bag but if you look closely, you will see that there is a sea otter pup enclosed in a plastic bag and the mother is frantically trying to get the plastic bag off to save her pup. This is one of the most shocking pictures we have ever seen of plastic entanglement with marine animals and is making us work even harder to educate students about the harm of plastic bags. Fortunately, the camera person who shot this picture actually was able to catch the baby and successfully remove the bag. Photo courtesy of Terry McCormack 3-Back © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

7 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org 4-Front © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

8 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org Ask the kids to tell you what they see in this picture. At first glance they may notice a bunch of floating trash in the ocean. If you look a little closer, you will notice two boys swimming amongst all the debris. Would you like to live in an area where your rivers or oceans looked like this? Each year, kids all along coastal areas wake up to this type of environment everyday. The plastic trash floats in from all over the world and ends up on their doorsteps. Photo courtesy of Project Kaisei 4-Back © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

9 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org 5-Front © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

10 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org Explain to the students this picture shows the 5-Gyres (where oceans come together) which creates a spiral current that traps all floating debris. Since plastic floats, it ultimately ends up in one of the gyres. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Pacific Trash Vortex, is a gyre of marine litter in the central North Pacific. The patch extends over an indeterminate area, with estimates ranging very widely depending on the degree of plastic concentration used to define the affected area. The Patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre. Despite its size and density, the patch is not visible from satellite photography since it primarily consists of suspended particulates in the upper water column. Since plastics break down to ever smaller polymers, concentrations of submerged particles are not visible from space, nor do they appear as a continuous debris field. 5-Back © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

11 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org 6-Front © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

12 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org Ask the students to raise their hand if they have ever been to the beach. Ask them to describe what the sand looks like and then ask them if they have ever seen sand that looks like what is depicted in the image. Explain to them that this picture was taken at a beach on one of the Hawaiian islands. Since plastic floats, it tends to wash up on the beaches all over the world and that islands located in the Pacific Ocean tend to have the highest concentration of plastic debris. The plastic particles being shown shows how larger pieces of plastic are broken down by the combination of the salt water and the UV rays of the sun. Plastic trash never goes away, in our oceans it merely breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces which are then washed up on shore, or even eaten by fish. 6-Back © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

13 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org 7-Front © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

14 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org Hold up the picture and ask the students to tell you how many jellyfish they see in the picture. Invariably you will get most students claiming they counted 8 or 10 or even more. The reality is that there are only three jelly fish, the rest are plastic bags floating in the water. Tell them that if the students were fooled by looking at the pictures, imagine how easy it is for marine animals to make the same mistake. Sea turtles and sea birds love to eat jellyfish and each year countless animals make this same mistake and eat the plastic bags. 7-Back © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

15 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org 8-Front © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

16 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org Ask the students what they see in this image. Typically you will get all kinds of comments, usually leaning towards pity for the sea turtle. Tell them that this turtle was fooled by a plastic bag which was floating in the ocean and he tried to eat it. Let the kids know that since we are using over 1 million single use plastic bags every minute in America, this type of occurrence is normal. The only way we can start to help keep these guys from eating plastic bags is by reducing our use of the bags and by ensuring we all recycle. Let the kids know that this was one of the lucky turtles because the camera person actually helped the turtle get the bag unstuck from its throat. 8-Back © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

17 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org 9-Front © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

18 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org Show the students this picture and tell them this is another example of how plastic bags in our oceans is affecting marine mammals. Let them know that this dolphin was just swimming around, minding his own business, when he swam a little too close to this plastic bag which ended up getting caught on its fin. Fortunately, the bag eventually came off and the dolphin was alright but this again shows how bad it is to keep using these bags. Especially when we have so many alternatives already available. If every student would go home and get their parents to “Say No To Plastic Bags”, we would immediately start to see a reduction in the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans. 9-Back © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

19 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org 10-Front © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.

20 Effects of Plastic Pollution Materials for this study unit provided by OneMoreGeneration.org Finally, show the students this picture and ask them what they see. If you look closely, you will notice that this bird is fully encased with the plastic from a Dry- Cleaning bag. This bird obviously tried pecking at something it thought was food and his beak went straight through the bag. Now that the bag has covered his whole body, the poor bird can no longer fly, nor can he see correctly. If the camera person had not stepped in to intervene, this bird would have died for sure. It is great that there are caring folks who are willing to help out, but most animals are not so lucky. It is estimated that over 1 million sea birds and over 100,000 marine mammals die each year from ingesting plastic. Ask the students to explain what they learned and how it makes them feel. This is also a great opportunity to ask them what they think can be done to prevent such images from recurring. 10-Back © 2012 One More Generation. All rights reserved.


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