We're hurting our planet through plastic pollution, mainly plastic pollution in the oceans. So campaigns to change our plastic habits have ramped up recently. These include switching from plastic to paper straws and changing how we handle 6-pack rings that hold beer cans together. Also, coming up with creative ways to reduce waste and reuse materials.
But why is it necessary? What is changing and negatively affecting the environment from plastic pollution? Moreover, how is plastic pollution in the oceans affecting all life, including marine life?
This Pollution Affects Our Health
Environmental studies have shown that 90% of the salt sold globally has microplastics inside, particularly sea salt, which has the highest concentration. In addition, 36 of the 39 brands examined were contaminated with plastic fragments. This shows that ocean plastic pollution is so widespread that even careful screening and sanitation products can't keep it back.
This is compounded by the fact that we eat plastic-contaminated seafood. Over 114 marine species have been seen to contain microplastics, and humans regularly consume a third of those species. So this means plastic pollution gets us coming and going- the food we eat and the salt we season with.
And the sources are never-ending. BPA’s from plastic that comes into contact with our food metabolizes in our liver. 90% of bottled water contains microplastics (242 out of 259 bottles tested). There’s plastic pollution in the air from trash burned in the open air, and even our clothes can leach plastic into our skin.
Groundwater Plastic Pollution
Droughts and raging wildfires worldwide have opened our eyes to the water shortages we're already experiencing and can expect to get worse. The relatively small amount of water we have left available to us is under threat from leaking plastics and waste. Plastics in landfills leach into groundwater every time it rains, leading to plastic pollution in your glass of water.
The Effect of Plastic Pollution in the Oceans on Animal
Nearly all species of sea turtle are now classified as endangered. This is three meagre steps away from extinction and is cause for concern. Sea turtles are instrumental in their ecosystem, keeping sea grasses trimmed so those seagrasses can support a host of other animals. They also help keep beaches healthy and play a vital part in the prey-predator cycle.
Sea turtles have become something of the spearhead of the no-plastics movement because they are so vulnerable to plastic pollution in the oceans. Eating plastics like straws or plastic bags can kill them, and plastic rings used for beer cans are choking sea life of all kinds.
Plastic pollution in the oceans is killing animals, endangering their populations, and leading to biodiversity loss. This mass death will lead to drops in supply change, drastic changes in our environment, and can lead to human casualties.
Plastic Pollution is a Worldwide Issue
Plastic pollution in our oceans, including massive trash piles and microplastics in our food, is a problem affecting every corner of the world. This plastic pollution can and will lead to our downfall and we must handle it seriously and straightforwardly. Plastic pollution affects everyone everywhere in ways that may be too small to see.