2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

The Problem of Plastic Pollution in Aquatic Habitats: An Industrial Approach
Beth L. Kroes
Dr. Michael Seipel and Dr. Scott Alberts, Faculty Mentors

This paper examines the complex problem of plastic pollution in aquatic habitats and its pertinence to the plastics industry. It offers information about the biological and economic implications of the issue, and also solutions for reduced plastic pollution. Negative ecological impacts, such as strangulation and poisoning, and economic considerations, such as cost-benefit analyses, are taken into account. Source reduction and end product reduction are two solutions that the paper focuses its main research upon, as these are major areas over which a plastic corporation has influence. Perspectives from different disciplines are utilized to evaluate these solutions as well as to better understand the issue as a whole. This paper concludes that while no single solution is best for this problem, source reduction, consisting of reduced material toxicity and volume, is a viable solution that the plastics industry can implement to decrease the harm that plastic pollution poses for aquatic ecosystems.

Keywords: plastic pollution, ecological degradation, industrial approaches, aquatic habitats

Topic(s):Interdisciplinary

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 51-1
Location: OP 2210
Time: 2:45

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