Civic Scientific Literacy Essay

Civic Scientific Literacy Essay. The Civic Engagement Certification REQUIRES that you complete this task.  In order to receive a grade in the…

Civic Scientific Literacy Essay


The Civic Engagement Certification REQUIRES that you complete this task.  In order to receive a grade in the class, you MUST upload this document to Blackboard.  If you would like for us to review a draft of this before you upload the paper, please feel free to email us it.  We will happily review your draft. 

This is due June 15 at midnight. 

As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Potential Topics:

Climate Change

Air Pollution

Water Pollution

Alternative Energy Sources

Species Extinction

Sewage Pollution

Acid Precipitation


Potable Water

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Environmental  Politics

Heat Island Effects

Sea Level Rise

Flooding of River Systems

Food Scarcity

Soil Depletions


Storm Surges

Acidification of the Oceans

Rising Ocean Temperatures

Fish Depletion

Plastics and the Environment

Plastics and the Environment


Plastic pollution is a global menace and the most widespread environmental issue affecting land and marine environments. Plastic pollution contributes to climate change, threatens ocean health, wildlife, human health, food safety and quality, and tourism. The global yearly production of plastics for various applications is over 300 million tons. Eight million tons of disposable plastics end up in oceans every year (Parker, 2019). Wildlife and marine species ingest plastic debris, leading to injuries, digestive malfunction, and even death.

Plastics are synthetic organic polymers produced from petroleum. Land and sea species are constantly threatened by the chemicals found in plastics or used to make plastics through air, dust, water, and food. Chemicals such as phthalates used as a plasticizer in the making of vinyl flooring and wall coverings and bisphenol A (BPA) used in the making of polycarbonate bottles and the linings of food cans have been found in human bodies, wildlife digestive systems, and fish bodies (Knoblauch, 2020). These harmful chemicals threaten the quality of life and can lead to diseases and death.

According to Wichter (2019), plastics clog oceans, litter cities, and taut wilderness areas that should be pristine. Plastics are “invasive” species that litter the environment and have proven difficult to eradicate. The chemical building blocks of plastics are versatile with various applications, but they harm the environment, especially living organisms. The production and disposal of these plastics create an array of environmental issues. These chemicals can be absorbed by humans, wildlife, and marine species.

Some chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) can cause cancer or alter hormones, potentially affecting an individual’s health. Plastic debris can injure or poison wildlife and marine species. Plastics in landfills can leach toxic chemicals into the soil and groundwater. Other chemical compounds like polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are also widespread, and in high concentration, they can affect animal and human reproduction and development.

The knowledge about how plastics pollute the environment by clogging oceans, littering cities, and taunting pristine areas like the wilderness increases my understanding of plastic pollution and its environmental implications. It is vital first to identify how plastics affect the environment and understand the incidence of plastic pollution. The world struggles to handle plastic accumulation and fragmentation on the earth’s surface, both on land and on oceans. This scientific knowledge increases urgency and reinforces the attitudes towards plastic pollution.

It is devastating how humans understand the environmental threat of plastic wastes, but the production is increasing exponentially and is expected to double by 2050 (Parker, 2019). Around 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean and coastal lines. Despite the measures put in place like burning plastic bags or charging a fee for every plastic bag, plastic accumulation and fragmentation are still increasing steadily. One contributing factor is that plastics are non-biodegradable. The chemicals used as additives to make plastics stronger, flexible, and durable also increase the product’s life. The estimated time plastic takes to break down is 400 years. Therefore, plastic disposed of 50 years ago is still intact today. This phenomenon makes plastic pollution a problematic issue to handle.  

From this civic scientific knowledge, I have gained insights into how to tackle plastic pollution. To develop strategies and solutions for addressing plastic pollution, it is vital to understand how plastics pollute the environment and its effects. Wichter (2019) discusses how plastics pollute the environment and how different cities and countries tackle the plastic problem. Governments and involved organizations should control plastic production through methods such as banning plastic bags, which happened in Rwanda in 2008, and charging a fee for plastic bags, the case of Washington, D.C. Other strategies include banning single-use plastics and adopting sustainable alternatives for packaging food items and other commodities.

Using reusable plastic water bottles and creating free filling stations accessible to most of the population can help reduce the number of plastic bottles disposed of every year. Recycling and reusing plastic materials is also a practical action that reduces the environmental impact of plastics in landfills and open-air. Recycling can help manage domestic and industrial waste. Recycling bins should be placed in various areas in cities and beaches to prevent and reduce plastic pollution. Governments and institutions should work together to redesign plastic products like reducing micro-plastics and synthetic products like textiles and tires. Solving plastic pollution goes beyond waste management.


Wichter, Z. (2019, April 22). Tackling the plastic problem, one city (or country) at a time. The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia.

Parker, L. (2019, June 7). Plastic pollution facts and information. National Geographic.

Knoblauch, J. A. (2020, April 20). The environmental toll of plastics. EHN.

Civic Scientific Literacy Essay

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