By: Matt Rutherford On: June 20, 2014 In: Education, STEM Education Comments: 1

STEM Students Elijah and Sarah learned about plastics that turn into an igneous rock found on some Hawaiian Beaches.  They found an interesting article about the topic and want to share what the learned below.

With over a billion tons of plastic thrown away since the 1950s, it will take as long as 500 years for some of it to biodegrade.  That’s enough plastic made and used to wrap our Earth  completely in  plastic wrap!  What is happening to all of the plastic  washing  onto Kamilo Beach,Hawaii.  Scientists have discovered it is turning into a type of rock.

Plastic trash and debris bond with basalt, shells, drift wood and sand which fuse together  under high heat to form a type of rock recently named plastioglomerate rock.  They think that in the future it may serve as a type of fossil evidence of our present day life styles humans lead in the use of plastics in our societies.

The big problem that faces us is what to do about all of this?  To walk on a beautiful beach, cluttered with plastics that have washed ashore from our oceans is not a healthy situation.   Can you imagine being a world citizen of the future and finding a fossilized toothbrush in a piece of rock one day?

Other than reducing our plastics use, or figuring out how to make a durable quick acting biodegradable safe plastic, we need to think about other ways we can make changes before we fossilize our life styles in plastic rock!