As the years go by, the world seems to be worse off than previous and no factor other than pollution has had an impact on the Earth’s health. There are 3 different types of pollution currently affecting the earth; land, water, and air pollution. However, water pollution and more specifically, oceans of plastic have directly endangered our safe drinking water which could have serious implications on human survival moving forward.
A New Species.
Every year billions and billions of pounds of plastic are dumped into the oceans and lakes which cause the health of these oceans too rapidly deteriorate affecting not just humans, but all species. The pollution has gotten to a point where plastic is essentially becoming a new species and an invasive one as well with 8 million tons entering the oceans and hijacking the homes of millions of animals annually. To put that into perspective, there are more microplastics in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way. Furthermore, plastic accounts for about 60-90% of the marine litter making it the inaugural ocean inhabitant (Rachel Carson Council, n.d.)
The consequences of this are undoubtedly considerable as small pieces of plastic are eaten by fish, turtles and seabirds that often result in their death. Plastic also does not biodegrade, it's permanently in the ocean until eaten by an animal which then enters the food chain. Removing plastic from the ocean itself has proved extremely difficult and overtime the plastic releases chemicals that concentrate contaminants such as pesticide.
How To Fix It?
Well, is the problem even reversible? Short answer is yes. We as individuals can do things in our daily lives to contribute to the reversal of ocean pollution. Firstly, reduce the use of single-use plastic in our everyday lives which means opting for reusable bags at the grocery store, purchasing and carrying reusable bottles, straws and utensils. Moreover, recycle properly and help clean your local beaches and this is exactly how The Dirty Seahorse has been creating clothing. Lastly, just simply spreading the word and having conversations about our daily habits that contribute to ocean pollution goes a long way in keeping people informed.
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