The Problem with Plastics

Wednesday, April 18, 7pm

We know that plastic is harming wildlife.  We also know that there’s plastic in our soils, tap water, the fish we eat, and the air we breathe, but what is it doing to us?  And, if we stopped using plastic today, what would happen to what is already in the environment?

More than 330 million tons of plastic are produced every year, about a third of which is used for disposable packaging.  Every year over 14 million tons are added to the ocean. This is equivalent to filling 245,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools with plastic bottles and dumping them into the ocean, every year.

Nearby in the Great Lakes plastic debris is a growing contaminant of concern. What are the effects of microplastics on larval and adult fish? Nearly 22 million pounds of plastic debris enter the Great Lakes every year from the United States and Canada. It turns out fish can mistake these plastic particles for food. It is not yet known whether plastic-related toxins enter the human food chain in harmful amounts.

Veterinarian Karyn Bischoff and Graduate Student Ellen George join forces for this program!

Karyn Bischoff is a veterinarian and toxicologist at the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center, part of the Cornell Veterinary College. Read our interview with Karyn.

Ellen George is a graduate student in the department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. Ellen’s research addresses the restoration of the cisco population of Lake Ontario, an important native prey fish species.


Discounts for Sciencenter members!

Museum exhibits are not open during this program.

Sciencenter | 601 1st St. | TICKETS