Plastic Endangers World Oceans

[Environment ★★]


(P1) The pollution of the oceans through waste, especially plastic, is a worldwide problem. Although most of the world’s waste stays on land, an increasing amount is getting into the world’s oceans. They are gradually becoming the largest plastic dump in the world.

(P2) Over the last decades, we have been producing more plastic than ever before. Due to our consumer habits we often use plastic only once, then throw it away. Only very small amounts of plastic are recycled and can be used again. One of the biggest threats is the 50 billion plastic bags that are used every year.

(P3) Plastic gets into the oceans in various ways. People who bathe on beaches pollute water in coastal regions. Tons of waste is dumped into the oceans from big ships.

(P4) It is estimated that over 270000 tons of plastic are currently floating on the world’s oceans. Most of it is very small, sometimes even impossible to see. However, there are also larger items like plastic toys or bags.

(P5) The pollution of the world’s oceans through plastic has a widespread impact on humans, our nature, and the environment.

  • Sea animals like sea lions and seals get caught in plastic and cannot escape.
  • Seabirds, whales, turtles, and other animals eat plastic and digest 
  • Plastic eaten by fish goes up the food chain. Dangerous substances end up in our stomachs.

WORDS: 226


VOCABULARY: gradually, dump, habits, coastal, estimated, impossible, digest, food chain


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you agree that there’s a worldwide water pollution problem? Why or why not?
  3. Does your country have a litter law? Is it enforced? Explain
  4. Why do people litter?
  5. What can people and governments do to decrease the amount of water pollution?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES: What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Over the last decades (P2)
  • Due to (P2)
  • Bathe on the beaches (P3)

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