Ocean Pollution by Plastics
Contamination’s are done on earth in various forms, one of them is by plastic. It doesn’t only affect the people but also oceans and it’s aquatic life. Countries across the world are banning plastic because of ocean pollution by plastics and the toxins it contains and for future living.
Plastics are made up of nearly 99% of fossil fuels like crude oil. Plastics discharge CO2. Every year 8 million tons of plastics end up contaminating the ocean. Think about the amount of carbon-di-oxide that is emitted and absorbed by the ocean, which results in Ocean Acidification (Increase in the absorption of CO2 which lowers the pH level of the ocean water).
What happens when the pH level of the ocean decreases?
When the ocean becomes more acidic, the coral reef, oysters (which forms shell with calcium carbonate) begins to dissolve because of Acidification even before a new creature begins to develop.
Did you know?
Plastics are killing more than 1 billion sea birds and animals every year. More than 90% of animals and birds said to have plastic particles in their body. Best for the last. ‘Drum rolls’. An Average human eats about 70,000 microparticles each year.
Do Plastics make our life easier and did we ignore the alarming?
To answer both of the questions in a single word “Yes”. The evolution of plastics made our lives simpler. From the usage of nylons to drinking water in bottles, carrying vegetables in plastic bags to play stations, it keeps our lives simple, entertaining, and also advancement in the medical field. But everything comes with a huge price to pay later.
It made unimaginable destruction causing ocean pollution and put millions of lives at stake.
How Plastics end up in the ocean?
Utilization of dustbins in streets are less and it’s much easier to throw plastics away which is hazardous for aquatic beings. Ocean pollution by plastics are caused because of
- Marine Debris? Marine debris, also known as marine litter, is human-created waste that has deliberately or accidentally been released in a sea or ocean.
- Plastics are not being recycled.
- Flushing out products, sanitary pads, covers, etc.
Why plastics cause Ocean pollution?
- Plastics that we throw, float on the surface of the ocean and traps the sunlight and warmth of it from entering into the ocean.
- The increase in Temperature which makes the survival inside the ocean difficult.
How plastics affect aquatic life:
- Plastics are the slowest DE-gradable substance. It takes so much time and when it does, it breaks into micro particles and it is consumed by aquatic animals/birds which leads to starvation, suffocation and later they are dead.
- Most of the sea birds, sea turtles consume plastic debris and lose their lives exposing the dark side of the aquatic destruction. Many Scientists found many plastic particles in the body of the sea animals and birds. Fishnets wrapped around the body of turtles, whales, dolphins, seals that are often found on the shore.
- The other major affecting living species are Coral Reefs. They need two important factors for living which is Sunlight and Air. Since plastics block the sunlight, it makes it difficult for coral reefs to sustain.
- one of the main benefits of coral reef is that they prevent the damaging effects of wave action and storms on coastal regions.
- One of the most disturbing facts is that these plastics assimilate with sulfur released from algae and those of sea birds and fishes who are associated with sulfur release intentionally seek them as they consider it as the part of feeding ritual. What’s more worst than this?
Did you know?
Coral Reef has it’s own screen called fluorescent pigment which forms the shield around zooxanthellae (algae that live in the tissue of the coral) which helps them from high temperatures and harmful UV rays.
What happens if the usage of plastics continues?
There would be even more awareness programs, organizations, NGO’S that would be created for spreading awareness about “ocean pollution by plastic” but situation remains unchanged. Worst case scenario, even worse. Scientists estimated that nearly 8 million tons of plastics end up in the ocean which can be further represented in the celestial way of nearly 51 trillion particles which is higher than the stars in our galaxy.
- It is said that if we use plastics as same as we use today by 2050, fishes in the oceans will be outnumbered by plastics.
- We would be having fish cake with marine debris as a result.
- Around 80% of marine pollution comes from land. Dumping of plastics in the sewage that ends up in the river and then in the ocean.
- Global and ecological destruction and so much more.
What can be done?
We all knew plastics are non-biodegradable. Even though it’s decomposable, still the sub-particles remain in the ocean.“Blue Economy” has to be implemented.
We all know what has to be done and what we have to do is “Just follow”. Eco-system is losing its balance and we have a major part in it. We have to be aware aquatic lives are part of this planet as we are and let’s preach, No More Ocean Pollution by plastic.