To marine life, plastic is like a poison. Filter feeders suck the tiny particles up resulting in their bodies being marred. Some animals eat the plastic which sometimes poisons them or leads to fatal blockages. Because there is a lot of predation in the ocean, the poison that encompasses the bodies of marine life affects the entire food chain (Silverman). The accumulated plastic and trash sometimes wash ashore, affecting beaches and oceans all over the world. This damages boat and submarine equipment, litter beaches, dissuades swimming and harms the
Currently, it is estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in oceans around the world. It is expected that another 60 billion pounds will be produced this year alone. In some areas, the buildup of plastics is estimated to span 5 million
The problem with plastic ending up in the ocean is that marine life is being harmed by the presence of it. A study done on the harbor seals in the Netherlands found that more than 12% had plastic in the digestive system (California Coastal Commission). The list of affected species indicates that marine debris is affecting a significant number of species. It affects at least 267 species worldwide, including 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species, and 43% of all marine mammal species (Save our shores). The problem is underestimated because the marine life that ingests plastic or dies from entanglement often goes undiscovered due to the vastness of the ocean, as they either sink or are eaten by predators before they are discovered (Plastic Debris). The potential harm from ingestion of plastics is not restricted to seabirds. Plastic bags drifting on ocean currents resemble the prey of turtles. There is evidence that their survival is being hindered by plastic debris with young sea turtles being vulnerable (Ocean pollution). Over the past 20 years polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have polluted marine food webs at an increasing rate, and are prevalent in seabirds. Though their adverse effects may not always be apparent, PCBs lead to reproductive disorders, increase the risk of disease and alter hormone levels. These chemicals have a detrimental effect on marine organisms even at very low levels and plastic pellets could be a route for PCBs into marine food
Most of the garbage, in the Pacific Garbage Patch, are different types of plastic. Unfortunately, unlike other materials, plastics take years to break down. Instead of biodegrading like organic materials, the plastics go through a process of photodegradation, which breaks the plastic into molecular size pieces. The sea life, unable to see the miniscule plastics, swallow them up. It has been shown that towards the top of the pyramid, humans are also consuming the plastics that the animals had once eaten.
Is hiking the Appalachian Trail right for you? Taking on a journey stretching well over 2,100 miles, covering fourteen states (from Maine to Georgia) by foot is no simple stroll where at the end of the day a comfortable bed and
There is no vanity on the AT (The Appalachian Trail) and more than some walk in the woods. Seems like it would be just an adventure. It started as a journey and a leap of faith to hike the entire Georgia section of the AT in less than 6 days. Day 4 it became a transformation. I saw less than 10 people hiking for 6 days and 90 miles. I hiked till 7pm each day (one hour prior to sunset) and wherever the spirit led me, I set up my tent, ate my food, journaled, slept and got up at 6 am in order to be back on the trail as soon as I could see it. Relentless steep climbs on all types of terrain and many painful descents that caused much knee pain. Several nights totally alone in the wilderness. Lots of praying and talking to God out loud.
Plastic comes in innumerable shapes and sizes; it is used for various purposes. We use it to bag our groceries, pay with it, drink from it, occasionally eat off it or unwrap it to get to food, etc. The functionality of plastic is continual and surrounds us, so what is the con of plastic? When plastic cups, bottles, and bags are abandoned in the street, the wind transports and the rain seizes them into storm gutters, tributaries and eventually the ocean. When rubbish and plastic originate from terrestrial territory and enters the sea it is swept away by an eddy vortex called the North Pacific Gyre. Charles Moore discovered the North Pacific Gyre, or also known as “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” in 1997. This garbage patch stretches hundreds of miles off the shoreline of California and Hawaii. Scientists estimated its size to be twofold the size of Texas or maybe even more substantial. This garbage patch contains some ten million tons of litter. According to Lindsey Blomberg, who wrote the article titled The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, writes, “What is known for certain is that the marine debris in the North Pacific Gyre is 80% plastic and it's mostly coming from land.” (1) Although the trash is in the ocean, it not only affects us but, wildlife on land or in sea too. Furthermost of the waste in the ocean consists of "microplastics" which according to Kitt Doucette, who wrote the article titled An Ocean Of Plastic is, “Larger chunks of waste that have been reduced to tiny
Gazing at the North Shore mountains, I am often reminded of John Muir’s famous and beloved quote, “The Mountains are calling, and I must go.” This simple, yet inspirational message, says it all! When listening to Muir’s call and seeking mountain adventures Vancouverites look first to the North Shore Mountains. Then eyes will turn to the majestic Sea to Sky corridor, but directing the compass east points you to a wonderful outdoor playground known as Golden Ears Provincial Park.
Solutions to Plastic Pollution in our Oceans The Basics We 're treating the oceans like a trash bin: around 80 percent of marine litter originates on land, and most of that is plastic. Plastic that pollutes our oceans and waterways has severe impacts on our environment and our economy. Seabirds, whales, sea
In the documentary “Inside the Garbage of the World”, the main social problem being explained is that there has been a great influx of plastic and other type of garbage in oceans and their beaches. This buildup of pollution has largely affected the wildlife population ranging from animals on the beaches to the creatures of the ocean. In oceans, what is called ‘garbage patches’, a large buildup of garbage that flow to one area in the oceans, are being created. Approximately 50 percent of all plastic sinks to the bottom of the ocean floor but about 2 times that much is actually already on the ocean floor. In fact, according to the documentary, there is a garbage patch that is to the left of California that is the size of half of the United States. Each year, about 4.7 million tons of plastic goes in the ocean a year and it is estimated that by 2050, there will be another 33 billion tons of plastic added to the present amount. Eighty percent of the current pollution comes from the land. According to marine researchers, twice as much plastic debris is one the ocean floor than it was 10 years ago. In the futures, plastic will break down into smaller pieces of plastic, creating a bigger problem from the habitat. This plastic pollution is one of the leading cause for beach and ocean inhabiting creatures be extinct because animals are mistaking these plastic pieces for food. When scientist began to dissect beach animals such as birds, they discovered that at least fifteen pounds of
In the heartbreaking video of ‘MIDWAY- Message from gyre’ it gives viewers an outlook of what happens when trash is put in places it has no business being in. The species of the birds that are called albatrosses are an unfortunate example of this. In the Midway, North pacific ocean, trash from the Pacific Garbage Patch ends up at these islands habituated by the birds. In this video pictures show detailed evidence of the effects of carelessness and solid waste can have on a species. This video is a short film, but expresses a big concern.
Plastic marine debris is detrimental to seabirds, causing harm and death. Entanglement in the plastic debris can cause seabirds to lose ability to fly properly. Without mobility, seabirds are not able to collect and hunt for food, causing starvation and death (Harmful marine debris, 2003). Furthermore, plastic debris may result
Almost 96% of plastic bags are disposed of in landfills (Williamson, 2003). This leads up to another problem as plastic bags are non-biodegradable - in other words, plastic bags do not biodegrade for over a thousand years (Stevens 2001). Plastic bags may also land in farms and in oceans which have an impact on the wildlife. Livestock such as cows may eat plastic bags while grazing. These pose a threat if ingested as they may tangle in their stomachs, causing serious injuries and potentially death (Dreyer et al, 1999; Rasmussen 1999). Each year over a billion birds and mammals die due to the ingestion of plastic bags (Baker, 2002).
Images of wounded and tangled marine wildlife have engulfed the media for many years and attempts are being made around the world to curb the increasing levels of macro-plastic pollution (large, visible pieces of plastic debris). Marine plastic pollution has a global impact on marine wildlife, habitat and human health and economy in various ways. The most publicized of which is through entanglement and ingestion (refer to graph 1 in appendices) (Allsopp et al., n.d.). However, once the human-made polymers are ingested, they can lead to physical blockages, gut impaction and perforation, choking, the transfer of toxic compounds, reduced food intake that leads to malnutrition and eventually starvation (Plastic Waste: Ecological and Human Health Impacts, 2011). While macro-plastic debris, such as fishing lines and plastic bags, is the main contributor to entanglement, both micro- and macro-debris are ingested across a wide range of marine
For my project, I will refuse to use plastic bags and I will use reusable bags instead. I am aware of the harmful effects plastic bags have on the environment, specifically in the ocean, and I want to do my part to help reduce this harm. Whenever I go