Tiny Plastic, Big Problem
When plastic was invented at the turn of 20th century, it was lauded as a miraculous new material that could be used to create innumerable products. Few could have recognized the impact that plastic would have on our world – particularly in our oceans – over the course of a century.
When and How to Pair: Introduce this text after students have read Chapter 9, to provide students with information on how plastic trash ends up in oceans and the negative impact it has on the environment. Ask students to compare the effects that plastic trash has on oceans, as discussed in “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem,” with the negative effects that oil has on oceans that “World Without Fish” identifies. According to Stevens and Kurlansky, how are the animals higher up the food chain affected by fish that consume oil and plastic trash?