Plastic has become an integral part of our daily life. From grocery bags to toys and bottles, plastic is one of the most used materials around the world. Plastic is in demand for its ease of manufacture, low cost, great versatility and durability. However, the extensive use of this material is causing severe damage to the environment, particularly ocean life.
This is because a large amount of plastic that is disposed of ends up in the ocean. To make matters worse, plastic takes decades to break down, posing a major threat to our oceans and their inhabitants. Research suggests that a truck loaded with plastic enters the oceans every minute, which is bad news for marine species.
Why is it necessary to save the oceans?
Most people are unaware of the significance of the oceans in maintaining life on earth. This is best understood with the help of the statistical details below.
- About 70% of the oxygen we breathe comes directly from marine plants.
- 97% of Earth’s water is contained in the oceans and therefore plays a vital role in maintaining the healthy water cycle that sustains life on the planet.
- The oceans absorb about 30% of the CO2 emissions on Earth while keeping the atmosphere clean and healthy.
- Millions of people around the world depend on the oceans for income and food.
The above facts help establish the importance of the oceans to support human life. The huge quantities of plastic dumped into the oceans can have seriously damaging consequences for the future of human life. That’s why saving the oceans from the long-term impact of plastic waste should be our top priority.
What can you do to save our oceans?
When it comes to saving the environment, every little step counts. The same is true in terms of making a difference for ocean plastic. In addition to reducing our individual use of plastic, we can contribute to the cause in the following ways.
Recycle and reuse
One of the qualities of plastic is that it can be recycled and reused. So instead of throwing every piece of plastic in the trash, we should find ways to recycle and reuse it. Poly bags and plastic bottles can be used multiple times if stored properly. There are countless other plastic products we use in our daily life that can be reused or recycled rather than thrown away after using them once.
Use an eco-friendly alternative
One way to make a serious difference to ocean plastic is to find greener alternatives for materials. For example, disposable plastic cutlery can be replaced with wood or paper products. In recent years, cutlery developed from consumer food products has also become very popular. Likewise, we should develop the habit of using disposable cups, straws and bags made of paper rather than plastic.
Embark on a Clean The Beach Drive
Beaches are a major source of ocean plastic pollution. People who visit the beaches often coat the area with different types of plastic that are pulled into the ocean directly by the waves at high tide. The simple act of cleaning the litter box and disposing of it properly can help reduce plastic pollution considerably. Organizing a beach cleanup campaign is another way to tackle the problem of ocean plastic pollution.
Choose fabric over plastic
Over the years, plastic has replaced fabric as the material of choice in everyday objects. Products such as diapers, shopping bags, and even banners and flags, which were previously made of cloth, are now made of plastic. While this can help reduce costs and provide a longer life, it also significantly increases plastic pollution. So returning to the traditional method of using cloth for these tasks is an effective way to tackle the problem of plastic in the oceans.
Choose plastic-free products
Most people are unaware that the cleaning and hygiene products they use contain microspheres. These microspheres are a type of plastic that enters the oceans through the sewer system. They have a serious negative impact on marine life and are one of the rapidly growing causes of plastic pollution in the oceans. Avoiding the use of such products can significantly help reduce the influx of destructive plastics into ocean waters.
Support relevant organizations and legislatures
Several organizations around the world are working to keep the oceans free of plastic. Supporting such organizations through volunteering or financial service can help address the problem more effectively. Likewise, we should extend support to any legislation that focuses on reducing plastic pollution in our oceans.
The ocean is an essential part of the earth’s environment. Maintaining its health and hygiene is critical to preserving the Blue Planet for future generations. The time to act is now and inspiring others to do the same is equally important. Every small contribution of every single individual can be fundamental to the protection of the oceans