Questions for: ‘Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters’

In Science
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A photo collage of plastic fragments found in the Arctic Ocean by the research team. A study published Wednesday shows a major ocean current is carrying trillions of bits of plastic from the North Atlantic to the Greenland and Barents seas, and leaving them there.

Credit
Andres Cozar

Article: Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters

Before Reading

Watch this short video from 2010 on “What Is Plastic?”

Make a list of everything made of plastic that you use in the course of one day, and then think about what your life would be like without plastic.

To what extent could you remove all the plastic you use by purchasing or finding other materials, or by going without? Describe how easy or difficult aspects of this might be.

Questions for Comprehension and Analysis

1. What does the Science Advances study show? Where are the trillions of pieces of plastic headed? Where did they originate, and where will they end up?

2. How is climate change leading to an increase in plastic pollution in the Arctic? What does Andrés Cózar Cabañas think about the results? What is he worried about?

3. How many millions of tons of plastic get into the ocean each year, and how much is estimated to be already there?

4. Describe how ocean currents work to move plastic garbage around. What are scientists doing to collect data on plastic debris? What did they discover?

5. Why does Dr. Cabañas say that the issue of plastic pollution “will require international agreements?”

What Do You Think?

Make a prediction about what you think our world will be like in the future if the current rate of plastic pollution continues to rise. Brainstorm ways to alleviate the problem, or to eliminate it.

Continue reading the main story

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