You'll Be Swimming In A Sea Of Plastic Pretty Soon

Have you ever seen the beauty and wonder that is our ocean’s ecosystem?

It includes everything in the oceans, as well as other bodies of water like bays, seas, shorelines, inlets, and even salt marshes. It is home to millions of plants and animals, from the tiniest plankton and bacteria to the largest living structure - The Great Barrier Reef, which can be seen from the moon!

The ocean’s ecosystem isn’t just wonderful to look at and observe, it also plays an important part in our daily lives. It is a source of our food and livelihood. It aids in climate regulation and influences the weather. And it produces 70% of the oxygen we breathe. 

Unfortunately, the ocean is under attack. And the biggest threat they are facing is not someone but something. 

It’s plastic. According to the UN, the marine debris wreaking havoc on our oceans is 80% plastic. That’s about 13 million metric tons of plastic in the ocean each year, enough to cover every foot of coastline on the planet. 

Plastic pollution is a huge problem because plastics don’t go away. They are not biodegradable. They merely break down into small particles and stick around for generations to come. 

Here are some of the extremely harmful effects of plastic on our oceans :

  1. When fish, seabirds, sea turtles, and other marine mammals ingest these plastics, this leads to digestive problems which cause suffocation, starvation and drowning.
  2.  Animals aren’t the only ones affected by plastic. When the plastic breaks down into tiny particles, they can also end up in the seafood we eat.
  3. When marine life gets entangled in plastic, they are unable to escape from their predators. Their ability to reproduce is compromised and they are unable to move freely. 
  4. Toxic substances found in plastics use up precious oxygen to degrade, lowering the levels of oxygen in the water. As oxygen levels go down, marine animals don’t get enough of it. 
  5. Plastic waste can cause bacteria and viruses to grow in the ocean. Studies show that corals that come into contact with plastics have an 80% chance of contracting a disease. 
  6. Plastic garbage can lead to the invasion of foreign, and possibly dangerous species and organisms that don’t naturally belong in marine colonies, thereby threatening the ecosystem. 

So the next time you put stuff in a plastic bag or use it for one reason or another, do think twice about doing so. Remember, these plastics will also have to be disposed of, and chances are they will end up in our oceans.