When you think of beaches, you often think of sand in your toes and sun on your skin. However, plastic waste is threatening beaches everywhere-- including the Gulf Coast.
Ever since plastic production took off during World War 2, it hasn't slowed down. Plastic is everywhere, your straws, the keyboard you type on and even the clothes that you wear. However, plastic consistently makes up for 90% of all marine debris that has been studied.
Dr. Mark Benfield, professor in the department of oceanography and coastal sciences here at LSU who worked on the oil spill, says this problem is the worst that he has seen.
"When we take samples in the gulf of Mexico, and in our estuaries and the river, and we see just how much plastic is out there. It's really alarming" Benefield said.
"It's really sad that people can't like efficiently recycle or at least just throw away trash like you're supposed to". LSU Freshman David Jackson said.
Benfield and I tested an everyday Nike t-shirt in his laboratory to see just how much plastic was in this every day shirt. The results were alarming, it matched 83% with plastic.
Micro-beads and polyethylene are in everyday products which hurt and distribute more plastic waste into our oceans.
Benfield's graduate student, Kerrin Toner, started a petition to ban plastic straws at LSU. They both urge students to sign.
Benfield encourages students to start looking around at just how much debris is around you on campus, as well as taking inactive to cut down on plastic products.