Plastic Pollution


Nathan S, Off Campus

Pollution is a worldwide problem now more than ever. Many organisms are being affected by pollution, but one that is being affected significantly is the hermit crabs of the Cocos Islands. Cocos Island is in the Indian Ocean. Their hermit crabs are being killed by plastic. The crabs mistake plastic trash containers for a shell that they can live in. The crabs then get stuck in the plastic containers and they starve to death, or they are killed from the lack of water in the containers.       

There have been 500,000 crabs that have been found dead in the litter on the beach. Because of this horrible occurrence, the population of the hermit crab is diminishing. The crabs are important to maintaining the ecosystem of the Cocos Islands, so this problem has not gone unnoticed. The crabs are important for fertilizing the soil around their home, tourists came to see the crabs, and for eating.  

Pollution is a major problem in the world today, so Cocos Islands are not the only area that has been experiencing losses in the hermit crab population. Another island in the Indian Ocean called Henderson Island has had the same problem where hermit crabs are dying due to plastic waste. This is an example of how the world is changing for the worse because of humans. If pollution continues, other animals will be in the same place the hermit crabs are: dying from plastic waste. Water pollution is one of the worst types of pollution because some marine animals are only found in one place in the world. With plastic, they will no longer be found anywhere in the world. 

Waste is a real problem in our world today, but there are ways for people to eliminate there waste. People should recycle which eliminates plastic waste. Plastic is horrible for the environment. Plastic waste is one of the most common wastes in the world and it pollutes the oceans, beaches, and the very sidewalks we walk on. People don’t realize that it takes many years for a simple plastic bag to decompose into the earth. Just choosing paper instead of the plastic can makes a huge difference in our world today. If plastic waste goes on like this soon the world will be so polluted that I can not support life. 



Rowbottom, Chris. “Hermit crabs dying in their hundreds of thousands due to container waste, islands study finds” ABC. ABC NEWS, 5 December 2019.

The Telegraph. “Hermit crabs dying after mistaking plastic for shells, study finds” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 2019.

University of Tasmania. “Half-million crabs killed by plastic debris on remote islands” PHYS.ORG., 5 December 2019.


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