The Oceans help humanity in a number of ways from food to trade or simply to beauty. Regrettably, this asset is threatened by man-made pollution and natural causes.
Although the five Oceans have suffered humanitarian consequences for more than a thousand years, they have accelerated in recent decades. Toxic waste, oil spills, floating plastics, and other factors have contributed to ocean pollution.
Here are some shocking facts about plastic bags in the Ocean :
There is now more plastic particle in Ocean plastics than the number of stars in the galaxy
When you think of plastic in the ocean, you may think of the plastic bottles and containers floating on the surface of the water. Although this type of pollution is undoubtedly a major problem, the risk posed by fine plastics can pose a serious threat to the marine ecosystem.
Dead zones in the ocean are growing in number with each passing year
Scientists in 2004 found 146 dead zones in the ocean with low oxygen concentration levels in the water. Animal life suffocates and dies in these areas and by the year 2008, the number of dead zones grew to 405!
The largest dead zone ever measured was found in the Gulf of Mexico in 2017. The zone was as large as New Jersey!
COVID-19 has caused further ocean pollution in the marine ecosystem
Indeed, as around 65 billion gloves and 129 billion masks are being disposed of on a monthly basis.
Small animals absorb chemicals in their food
Small animals at the bottom of the food chain absorb chemicals in their diet. These small animals eat large animals that increase chemicals concentration. Plastics decompose differently as organic materials like wood or paper.
Instead, the plastic divides into smaller pieces over time. The effects of small plastics are still under study, but what we do know is that fish swallow these small plastic particles into the food chain and that humans can often absorb them.
A whale shark swims by a plastic bag. Pollution like this can have negative effects on all marine life.
Millions of tons of plastic reach the ocean every year
Year after year, the crisis of plastic pollution in our oceans is worsening. At the same time, very few things receive about 8 million tons of extra plastic in the ocean each year. To put things in perspective, that is nearly the same weight as one-thirty million people of average size that enter our oceans each year.
Every piece of manufactured plastic still exists
Plastic is incredibly durable that every piece of manufactured plastic still exists in the world. The plastic decomposes with time when exposed to the sun, but it never disappears.
Instead, it is divided into smaller and smaller parts, so that the particles are visible only under the microscope. Although much of the waste and debris dumped into the ocean is hundreds of kilometers away, they are still washed on beaches and coastal areas, affecting everything that separates them.
All marine animals are affected by industrial chemicals released into the water.
Plastic bags in the ocean can be one of the biggest causes of pollution
A recent study found the ocean pollution is very common in deep waters with plastic bags being the main cause of pollution besides fishing equipment, metal cans, shoes, glass bottles, and tires, etc.
Marine life is dying and the ecosystem of the entire ocean is therefore threatened by several sources of pollution. If we want to preserve the ocean and its natural beauty, we must take strict measures to control the pollution of plastic bags in the ocean.
Considering the problems of using plastic bags, shocking facts about plastic bags in the ocean and identifying their negative impacts on our environment, an increasing number of countries are banning the use of plastic bags in supermarkets and retail stores.