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Trash Talk: Where Does Marine Debris Come From?

3 minutes

(Describer) Under a round logo of a wave, title: Ocean Today. In an animation, garbage flies out of a can into water. Title: Trash Talk.

(woman) Where does marine debris come from?

(Describer) Dianna Parker:

It comes from different sources and enters the ocean in many ways. Intentional littering and dumping are a big cause of marine debris. Sometimes the trash goes directly into the ocean, like when beachgoers don't clean up. Sometimes, marine debris is indirectly generated in a city hundreds of miles from the ocean. When someone litters on the street, rainwater can move the trash into storm drains that enter into streams, rivers, and other waters, or the wind can blow it there. Those waters eventually carry trash to the ocean. Improper or careless waste disposal is another big cause. Have you ever seen an overflowing trash can, but people keep putting trash there? Hello, marine debris. Or when someone throws plastic in the trash instead of recycling it. Around the world, people don't have access to proper waste disposal or recycling. The trash piles up. It has to go somewhere. It's not just on land. Marine debris comes from activities on water too. People on boats sometimes throw their trash overboard, and that's against the law. Or trash can accidentally fall, blow, or wash off vessels into the water. Sometimes fishers lose their fishing gear thanks to storms or passing vessels. Once debris gets to the ocean, it's very difficult to trace the source. The bottom line is, marine debris comes from us. Humans are the source, and every single person has the power and the responsibility to prevent it.

(Describer) Some of the garbage goes back into the can. Titles: Trash Talk Logos are shown for the Smithsonian and NOAA. Accessibility provided by the US Department of Education.

Accessibility provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

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Marine debris comes from many different sources and enters the ocean in many ways. Intentional littering and dumping are big causes. Sometimes the trash goes directly into the ocean, and sometimes marine debris is indirectly generated in a city hundreds of miles from the ocean. When someone litters on the street or parking lot, rainwater can move the trash into storm drains that empty into streams, rivers, and other bodies of water. Improper or careless waste disposal also contributes to this environmental concern. Part of the "Trash Talk" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 3 minutes

Trash Talk
Episode 1
2 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Trash Talk
Episode 2
2 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Trash Talk
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Trash Talk
Episode 4
2 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Trash Talk
Episode 5
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Trash Talk
Episode 6
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12