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2022 Essay Competition Winner – Janice Xin L


Take a look at one of this year’s winning entries to the Immerse Education Essay Competition from the Chemistry category.

Congratulations to all participants and in particular to those who have won 100% scholarships!

How does plastic packaging affect the environment?

by Janice Xin L

Different pollutants caused by human behaviour have harmed the environment drastically. We do not realize how badly we are hurting and damaging the world that we live in. One awful environmental pollutant, in particular, caused by humans is plastic. Plastic is used so often that we can’t even dispose of it properly, which can be a deadly threat to our valuable environment.

The reason we use it regularly is because of how easily moldable and cheap it is to manufacture and produce. The production of plastic packaging has increased rapidly. In 1950, there were 2.3 million tons of plastic and 448 million tons in 2015. Researchers have estimated that the numbers would be twice as such in 2050. However plastic does have good qualities because it is lightweight but also strong. In addition, it is good for storing liquid-based products due to being water resistant. Plastic can come in many forms, like Tupperware, bottles, buckets, cutleries, and plastic bags as they are convenient for businesses and other users who use plastic often.

Since plastic is a worldwide product, it can be found anywhere, and people tend to throw them everywhere causing pollutants that harm the environment. One such example, people throw plastic into the sea which causes the sea to be abundant with plastic and sea creatures such as sea turtles eat them thinking it’s jellyfish and end up suffocating themselves. About 700 species of animals are killed by plastic in the form of consumption or suffocation. Some others get entangled by fishing hooks and fishing lines. Animals often eat anything that comes their way. Some fishermen have reportedly found fish stomachs packed with plastic. This causes the fish to have a low appetite as their stomachs are already full. Plastic can be broken down once in contact with the sunlight, sea, wind, and wave action into small particles called microplastics.

Microplastic is dangerous as it is microscopic plastic and can be found in the air that we are breathing. Just imagine breathing chemicals instead of clean, fresh air. Equally, the sea is filled with microplastic, that can’t be seen with our naked eye. Fish and other marine creatures are also consuming lots of it which can potentially kill them. It can basically be found in every nook and cranny of the world.

To reduce plastic pollution, we could use the 3R’s which are recycling, reducing, and reusing. Using this method can improve the environment drastically. Small contributions like picking up a piece of plastic can make a big difference. If each person contributes to saving the environment, we would be able to clear about 7 million of the earth’s plastic each day. Even changing the type of product to biodegradable would improve our world. It does not take lots of effort to pick up one plastic per day. Changing the habit of using plastic bags while shopping for goods to a recyclable bag assists in saving the planet.


Laura Parker, ‘The world’s plastic pollution crisis explained’, published June 7, 2019
[Plastic pollution facts and information (nationalgeographic.com)]

Why Apply To The Immerse Education Essay Competition? 

Are you a highly motivated student aged 13-18? Have you ever wanted to experience studying at Cambridge or Oxford? 

The Immerse Education essay competition allows you the chance to submit an essay for the chance to be awarded a scholarship to the award-winning Cambridge summer school

How To Apply To The Immerse Education Essay Competition? 

The Immerse Education annual essay competition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win a scholarship to a Cambridge or Oxford summer school

If you’re aged 13-18 and you’re interested in applying to the Immerse Education essay competition then please visit our essay competition page for more details.

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