Caring About The Planet: Plastic Oceans

by Betty Bite

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Pollution is a topic we are hearing about more and more frequently, as the need to look after our planet is greater than ever before. The pollution of the ocean is a particularly important topic. It is something the team a lot of people are extremely passionate about, and rightly do. 

Did you know that approximately 80 percent of marine litter originates on land? This is a startling statistic and worryingly most of this litter is plastic, which has an extremely negative effect on our environment.

Marine life, such as sea turtles, whales and seabirds, are dying because of this pollution. From starvation, to intestinal blockage, to choking, the reasons vary yet the results are all as equally horrifying. 

This type of pollution is something we do not often give a lot of consideration to, as we don’t feel it has an impact on our life. However, it does. We’re actually putting our own health at risk.

Not only this, but it is a huge cost to local governments and taxpayers who have to pay for the pollution to be cleaned.

This is why when it comes to throwing rubbish away and junk removal, you need to partner you with someone responsible.

You can discover more here. Don’t simply throw things away without a second thought.

Undoubtedly one of the worst places for ocean pollution is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is a huge floating area of oceanic trash that is actually thought to be double the size of Texas. In truth, it is impossible to estimate the exact size of this area, since the gyres are in a continual state of movement.

A gyre occurs through the accumulation of floating plastic debris that is the result of the action of currents and winds. Wave action and photo degradation results in the plastic breaking down into smaller pieces. It is believed that in every square kilometre of ocean there is between 13,000 to 18,000 pieces of plastic floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 

So, what could be the solution to the problem of plastic oceans? There is a three-step process suggested by The Ocean Cleanup that can help to resolve this issue. It starts with extraction, then prevention and finally interception. In order to tackle the problem we must extract the plastic.

Floating barriers should be used in order to catch then concentrate the debris. Once the extraction process is complete we then need to prevent plastic pollution from occurring again.

This is no easy challenge, but with increasing education and raising awareness it’s possible. Finally, to stop the influx of new plastics into the ocean, The Ocean Cleanup have developed spin-offs of their passive collection technology.

They plan to implement this into waterways and river deltas.

There is no denying, though, that we can all make little changes to stop more plastic getting into the water. Considering how you manage the removal of trash from your home is the perfect place to begin.

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