Effects Of Plastic Pollution In The Ocean – Plastic is an important part of our daily life. From furniture to shopping bags, car parts and even toys, plastic is an unavoidable thing that is available in various forms. According to a study, a single particle of plastic can absorb a million times more toxic substances than the surrounding water.
According to estimates, people in the world throw away about four million tons of plastic every day, 12.8% of which is plastic, polluting the land, air, and water.
Effects Of Plastic Pollution In The Ocean
While plastic is dumped in places that contaminate the soil and ground water with harmful chemicals and microorganisms, the ocean is heavily polluted by plastic.
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As on land, even in the ocean regions, the effects of plastic on marine life are beginning to be felt. According to research, about 10 million tons of plastic waste is washed into the sea every year.
The United Nations Environment Program estimates that there may be 51 trillion microplastic particles in the oceans.
Although some of the plastic waste in the oceans comes from land, most of it is caused by mismanagement, and ships and oil and gas platforms also contribute.
In recent times, due to the increase in plastic waste in the sea, it has been possible to take all measures to fight this problem by understanding the consequences of plastic in the sea.
Plastic Pollution Facts That Show Why We Need To Do More
But before people can do that, they need to understand the consequences of plastic in the ocean, so more protection measures are needed.
Of all the threats to the marine environment, the threat of plastic is one of the most dangerous.
Litter in the ocean, namely plastic, threatens the marine environment. It disrupts the entire bio-ecological cycle and causes untold problems for the marine ecosystem. Microfiber plastics and microspheres released from detergents and cosmetics, such as face wash and toothpaste, are very harmful to aquatic plants and animals.
Plastic threatens marine life in many ways, from small fish to large mammals and amphibians. According to reports, about one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die from eating plastic. Unfortunately, many marine species are on the verge of extinction due to this type of ocean pollution.
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The ingestion of plastic by marine animals causes serious digestive problems, often untreated. Many marine animals eat plastic, mistaking it for food. It reduces the energy of your stomach and makes you hungry. According to reports, plastic consumption by all types of fish is several tons per year. In addition to the intestinal injury and death of these fish, the risk increases up the food chain to larger fish and marine mammals.
According to scientists, there is an 89 percent chance that coral reefs will be exposed to plastic debris.
Sea turtles are the other victims of marine plastic besides fish. Like fish and other marine animals, sea turtles ingest plastic waste, causing intestinal obstruction, ulcers, and death. A study has found that half of the world’s sea turtles have eaten plastic.
Sea turtles and seals are the most common victims of the “ghost net” in the ocean. Just like plastic bags, bottles, and other trash, fishing gear, nets, and plastic boxes also end up in the oceans. This plastic waste affects marine life by choking the species and making them vulnerable.
An Ocean Of Plastic
These nets are known as ghost nets or ghost gear, and the method used to distract marine animals is known as ‘Ghost Fishing’. “Happy feet.”
Plastic debris in the oceans threatens the lives of birds and other creatures that depend on marine life for their food needs. In many cases, these animals die from ingesting plastic or suffocate, especially birds, simply because they are confused by the light colors of plastic waste.
Birds often get caught in the vegetation and suffocate and die. According to various studies, 44% of all seabird species, as well as cetaceans, oysters, clams, corals, and sea turtles, have been documented to have plastic waste in or around their bodies.
Plastic pollution in the ocean affects people in different ways. In addition to the dangers of polluted seawater, the ingestion of plastic by fish and other aquatic animals can harm shellfish eaters. Plastic contains many chemicals that can be harmful.
Microplastics In Our Oceans And Marine Health
When fishing activities are carried out, fish infected with these harmful chemicals may end up in our homes, causing health problems for end consumers. Studies have shown that toxicity from plastic causes many health problems, including cancer, immune system problems, and birth defects.
The amount of trash in the oceans also pollutes the ocean waters, such as plastic that harms marine life in many ways. Dissolving hazardous materials, including toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A, found in many plastic products, can seriously pollute water.
Since Bisphenol A does not dissolve in water, it poses a serious environmental problem. Likewise, oxygen is depleted as it decomposes, reducing oxygen levels in the oceans. As oxygen levels drop, the health of marine animals, including whales, dolphins, and penguins, is adversely affected.
The destruction of the oceans is not limited to the high seas. Plastic-infested beaches and beaches are also being built. Plastic waste can float for miles in the water, sink to the bottom of the ocean, or be found in large quantities along coastlines.
Marine Plastic Pollution
These sticky areas can be easily irritated by birds and other land animals trapped in plastic wrap. Regardless of location, this marine debris can seriously damage ecosystems.
Marine debris in the form of plastic also leads to the invasion of non-native species and organisms into natural marine colonies, threatening the functioning of ecosystems. The billions of microscopic particles floating in the ocean are all carriers of non-natural species.
Ocean currents, especially currents, sometimes pick up plastic in their deposits, which end up in different ocean areas. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located in the North Pacific off the coast of California, is an example of such marine debris.
Researchers say it’s the largest garbage patch in the ocean, and this layer of floating garbage is about twice the size of Texas. See how the ocean cleaning system is fighting back.
Why Ocean Pollution Is A Clear Danger To Human Health
Plastic in the ocean is a result of human negligence. As the consumption of plastic increases every year in the world, the amount of plastic waste in the waters is also increasing.
Despite the negative effects on the marine ecosystem, plastic pollution also has a negative impact on the economy as it affects sectors such as tourism, fishing and aquaculture, among others.
However, many steps are being taken to reduce plastic pollution in the oceans, including cleaning up beaches and bodies of water and preventing plastic from entering the ocean in the first place. There are many organizations fighting to save the oceans.
Countries should eliminate the use of single-use plastics, such as plastic straws, food wrappers, plastic bottles, and bottle caps, and throw them away after use. Instead, choose big plastic recycling to save our world from littering our planet with so much plastic. As our world battles global warming and climate change, we must change our lifestyles and reduce our consumption to protect our planet.
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Many countries have banned or restricted various types of plastic products to combat plastic pollution, especially in the ocean. There is a lot of waste water treatment around the world and a better understanding of the harmful effects of plastic can help us save our oceans.
The ocean is full of macro and micro plastics, including plastic bags, toys, cigarette butts, bottles, food wrappers and containers, motor vehicles, machinery from canals and waste water, etc.
Plastic can negatively affect marine life in many ways. Thousands of marine animals such as seals, seagulls, and turtles ingest or ingest plastic debris and die. Many coral reefs suffer from diseases after coming into contact with plastic.
A major cause of concern is non-biodegradable plastic, which is still produced in many countries on a large scale. It harms all kinds of ecosystems, including humans, when it enters food chains.
Impacts Of Plastic Waste On The Marine Environment
The plastic problem is complex and cannot be solved if plastic is eliminated. However, the situation can be improved if single-use plastic is limited and the rule of the three Rs, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is followed.
When plastic enters the ocean, it breaks down due to salt water and the effects of ultraviolet light. They are brittle, brittle, and discolored, so they cannot be recycled. Therefore, most of the plastics that come from the ocean never make it to a recycling facility, they are stored and incinerated.
Data and graphics, if used in the article, are obtained from information available and have not been confirmed by any legal authority. Neither the author nor Marine Insight warrants or endorses its accuracy.
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