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How Much Plastic is in the Ocean?

It's Okay To Be Smart

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What can you do to make the oceans plastic-free?
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↓↓↓Check the resources below ↓↓↓

Ocean plastic pollution is a massive environmental problem. Millions of tons of plastic waste enter the ocean every year, even plastic that goes in the trash can often ends up in the sea! This week we learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and look at the dangers ocean plastic poses to ocean animals. Plus, a few tips for you to reduce your own plastic use!

Plastic Oceans Foundation:

United Nations “Clean Seas” program:

The 5 Gyres Institute:

Lonely Whale Foundation:

Take this quiz to learn about your plastic impact:

10 ways to reduce plastic pollution:

The no plastic straw pledge:

Ocean plastic pollution resources from Monterey Bay Aquarium:

What will it take to get plastic out of the ocean?

Resources for teachers:


Cózar, Andrés, et al. "Plastic debris in the open ocean." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111.28 (2014): 10239-10244.

Jamieson, Alan J., et al. "Bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in the deepest ocean fauna." Nature Ecology & Evolution 1 (2017): 0051.

Jambeck, Jenna R., et al. "Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean." Science 347.6223 (2015): 768-771.

“Moby-Duck” by Donovan Hohn (Harper’s Magazine)


Twitter: @okaytobesmart @DrJoeHanson
Instagram: @DrJoeHanson
Snapchat: YoDrJoe

It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
Director: Joe Nicolosi
Writer: Joe Hanson
Producer/editor/animator: Andrew Matthews
Producer: Stephanie Noone and Amanda Fox

Produced by PBS Digital Studios
Music via APM
Stock images from Shutterstock

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