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In this short animation film, produced by TED-Ed, we explore three possible scenarios regarding the life cycle of a plastic bottle, after it is thrown away.
In scenario 1, the bottle ends up in a landfill where its interaction with rain creates a harmful substance called leachate. This mass ends up in the ground and streams, harming ecosystems.
In scenario 2, the bottles follow a stream that flows into a river, and the river ends up in the ocean. After some time, it makes its way to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is then mistaken for food by marine species and, as a result, enters the food web.
In scenario 3, the bottle is recycled, and its materials can be used again.
The resource does suggest additional resources and discussion questions to dig deeper into the plastic issue.
This video would be excellent to support teaching of plastics in the environment as well as how humans are impacting ecosystems.
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