The effect of microplastics on our oceans marine life is indirect and therefore less obvious. Unlike microplastics, standard trash can directly harm animals by suffocating birds or imitating food. Microplastics play no direct threat to marine life, however, their long-term effect on clams, oysters, and other filter feeders will surely cause long-term catastrophe to our marine food web. So that brings us to the overlying problem, tiny microplastics and microfibers in our oceans created by a society built on synthetic materials are causing huge negative effects in our ocean's food webs. By bringing awareness to all these factors solutions can then be formed.
In the National Geographic article “Eight Million Tons of Plastic Dumped in Ocean Every Year”, author Laura Parker expresses how violent the simple act of dumping trash into the ocean really turns out to be. This article goes into depth telling exactly what plastics pollution is causing, where it’s mostly coming from, and what you can do to decrease this problem and help save both our planet and ocean wildlife.
In the article When the Mermaids Cry” The Great Plastic Tide by Claire Le Guern Lytle, she wrote “For more than 50 years, global production and consumption of plastics have continued to rise. An estimated 299 million tons of plastics were produced in 2013, representing a 4 percent increase over 2012, and confirming and upward trend over the past years” This means that more and more trash is added to the 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the ocean. Almost everything around us is made out of plastic, this is later misused and ending in the wrong place. The Center for Biological Diversity wrote “In the first decade of this century, we made more plastic than all the plastic in history up to the year 2000. And every year, billions of pounds of plastic end up in the world’s oceans. Most ocean pollution starts out on land and is carried by wind and rain to the sea. Once in the water, there is a near-continuous accumulation of waste.” Our plastic is misplaced and it escalates from there. However, plastic pollution hurts us as well. “Trash in the water compromises the health of humans, wildlife and the livelihoods that depend on a healthy ocean;” wrote a non-profit group called Ocean Conservation. If our oceans are covered in trash, everyone that relies on the ocean is going to suffer. The effect is not just in our health, it also affects our economy. Ocean Conservation also
In 1988, it was determined that the United States alone, was producing 30 million tonnes of plastic per year (Derraik, J.G.B., 2002). This can be compared with the global and annual production of 260 million tonnes of plastic as of 2012 (Pearson, E., 2014). Plastics are lightweight, durable, and cheap to make. This makes them incredibly easy to sell and manufacture. However, these attributes are many of the reasons why plastics are the most prominent type of marine debris, and why they are a serious hazard to various ecosystems and the organisms that live within them (Derraik, J.G.B.,
Is anybody aware that on a daily basis you could be consuming the 5 million tonnes of plastic that enters the sea annually? That is why today I will be informing you on the dangers and risks of animal and human lives due to ocean pollution. Clearly, I am against the actions of these careless people. The trash and plastic that is thrown onto the streets everyday ends up blowing into the water and polluting our world’s beautiful oceans.
Over the few years, humans have discarded millions of tons of garbage into the oceans. Ever wonder where the cup you threw out this morning will end up? Or the plastic spoon you used for lunch? How about the cap of a water bottle? The calamitous plastic ends up in the water, taking thousands of years to decompose. The consumption of plastic by the marine life is perilous and the leading cause of death for life on shore.
From the polar regions to the equator, these microplastics are everywhere (Avio, 2017). While we know there are tons of plastic in the ocean, it is difficult for researchers to give an exact amount. However, after twenty-four expeditions, a team of researchers in 2014 estimated that there are at least 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons floating in the ocean (Eriksen, 2014). They estimate that the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans contain 55.6% of the particles found in the oceans (Eriksen, 2014). These researchers have helped give emphasis and proof as to why the worlds plastic consumption needs to be dealt with, either by banning non-biodegradable plastic all together, or by providing people all around the world with an easier way to recycle plastic.
One of the issues that is currently harming the ocean is the presence of pollution. Studies have shown that over the past thirty years, people have increased their use of plastics and synthetic materials and recently it has become even more abundant (Laist). The amount of plastic debris that has entered the ocean is partially due to people 's inability to properly dispose of plastic and waste. This has immeasurable effects on the physical ecosystem, as well as the creatures who inhabit it. While plastic is very buoyant, it takes a very long time to degrade, and it is usually eaten by
The ocean’s vast marine life is dying more and more each year due to plastic. Over 100,000 marine animals die each year from plastic entanglement and ingestion says Gianna Andrews, author of the 2012 “Plastic in our Oceans Affecting Human Health” on ser.carlton. Chemicals in the plastic are also intoxicating the marine life. Reducing the use of plastic could save thousands of sea animals and make our ocean a cleaner place. There are many questions concerning our ocean, like how much plastic is in our ocean? What are the effects? How do we stop it? These questions will be answered by explaining and describing our ocean’s plastic.
“Around 260 million tons of plastic is produced every year, approximately 10% of this ends up in oceans. This litter is frequently consumed, often with fatal effects, by marine animals and birds who mistake it for food. The Trash Vortex of the Northern Pacific ocean is a patch the size of Texas consisting of trillions of pieces of decomposing plastic.” (Geer) Water pollution often directly correlates with other natural recourses that is being harmed by the same
A large number of marine species are known to be harmed and/or killed by plastic debris, which jeopardize their survival, since many are already endangered by other forms of anthropogenic activities. Marine animals are affected through entanglement in and ingestion of plastic litter (Marine Debris). Less conspicuous forms, such as plastic pellets and “scrubbers” are also hazardous. To address the problem of plastic debris in the oceans is a difficult task, and a variety of approaches are required. According to research conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, 14 billion pounds of trash is dumped into the ocean each year. That is more than 38 million pounds a day. More than 85% of all the trash that is dumped comes from the world’s merchant shipping fleet. According to the same research, the United States is responsible for an estimated one- third of all the trash that is dumped into the ocean (Amaral). The reason this is still going on is because the majority of the trash that is dumped is in international waters. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that convened in 1982 defines territorial waters and international waters as: territorial waters are waters extending up to 12 nautical miles from a coastal state, and they are considered to be within the jurisdiction of that particular state or ‘territorial waters’ If oceans, seas, rivers or lakes extend beyond international boundaries and are not territorial waters, they are classed as
Overall, neither the direct nor long-term effects of microplastic pollution in the field are thoroughly understood. The quantity of microplastics in the ocean is set to continue to increase, largely due to three factors; 1) the large volume of
The overuse of plastics in today's society has become major environmental issue for our oceans. Plastic pollution is the dumping, littering, or disposing of any type of man-made plastic that has been produced and has ended up in our ocean and has not been recycled.
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 turtles and other marine life are eating marine plastic pollution and dying from choking, intestinal blockage and starvation. Scientists are investigating the long-term impacts of toxic pollutants absorbed, transported, and consumed by fish and other marine life, including the potential effects on human health.
The Hawaiian Archipelago, for example, is among the longest and most remote island chains in the world. The 19 islands of the archipelago, including Midway atolls, receive massive quantities of plastic debris, shot out from the Pacific gyres (Smith, 2011). Some beaches are buried under 5 to 10 feet of plastic, while other beaches are riddled with “plastic sand”. One of the reasons marine debris accumulates in these islands is the movement of debris within the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone (STCZ) (Steiner and Helgesen, 2016).