The Problem with Plastic in the Ocean

The disturbing amounts of plastic in the ocean are not good for life in the sea or on land.

Every day we use different products without thinking too much about what they’re made of or where they’re headed after we’re done using them. However, it’s worth researching a bit into the impact that plastic has on the environment and how we can all reduce plastic usage.

Suppose the ultimate goal would be to get to a point where companies are no longer producing products either wrapped in or just entirely made out of plastic. Though, that’s not to be too oblivious to the fact that companies should use their common sense and tap into whatever humanity they can muster under capitalism, in order to realize the harm of plastic and not just think of its profits.

 

The Facts of Plastic

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Rich Carey/Shutterstock

Through dumping plastic constantly into large bodies of water everywhere the plastics break into tiny pieces because they don’t biodegrade. This plastic kills over 100.000 sea turtles per year because they consume these microplastics. About eight million tons of plastic are dumped in the ocean every year hence this is a way bigger issue than most people are aware of.

Unfortunately, the production of plastic products has shown no significant signs of slowing down as of yet. Additionally, it’s a sad fact of life that plastic is present in many facets of life. It’s very difficult to go grocery shopping and avoid plastic entirely. Moreover, even in clothing plastic is used a lot. Then, you go to buy furniture and plastic will once again appear everywhere. This is an unavoidable truth that presents deep-rooted issues plaguing the environment. Considering how cheap it is for companies to make products using plastic and how profitable they are in turn this isn’t an issue likely to go away soon.

The UN environment program reports that we produce more than 300 million tons of plastic waste every year with less than 9% of it being recycled. The single-use plastic is the main problem here. While it is one of the best ways to keep food fresh for example, the fact that so many products are wrapped in plastic that we just throw away immediately is concerning. The large dumping of plastic in the ocean with no regard for marine life is also not great. When you add on the fact that now those microplastics can be found in human beings as well due to us consuming fish meat well then you may have an immediate problem here.

 

What to Do About Plastic

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Inside Creative House/Shutterstock

Finding other ways to dispose of our trash would be a great starting point. Those ways have to be environmentally friendly though and not just repeat the same mistakes. Our plastic pollution has reached as far as Antarctica, and if that’s not enough for us to do something to stop all this then I’m not sure what is.

On an individual level, there are things we can do. Things like not using single-use plastic products as much as possible, recycling a lot, volunteering to clean the beaches, etc. could help a bit. Frankly, it’s hilarious to think that one person not using a plastic straw once will make much of a difference when there are millions of tons of plastic being dumped into the ocean as we speak.

As per usual, the problem is systematic. The production of plastic simply put must be reduced as much as possible. Yes, every individual does have a role to play in it but it starts at the top. Plastic kills marine life and destroys the ocean.

If you can and want to live a plastic-free life to ease your conscious while making a little but necessary difference though, feel free to try and reduce plastic usage in your daily routine. It won’t be much, but it’s a start in saving the ocean.

 

Photo: Romolo Tavani/Shutterstock

 


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