In our everyday lives, plastic is practically everywhere. Everything from food packaging to cosmetics, clothing, furniture, computers, and automobiles are made using it. This common substance is made to be extremely durable, therefore a large portion of it doesn’t decompose. Depending on the type, plastic can decompose in landfills in a matter of decades or perhaps millions of years. Because of this, almost every piece of plastic ever produced still exists today, unless it is burned, which also contributes to pollution.
When plastic reaches the water, its impact can stay for decades. Each year, hundreds of millions of marine animals become entangled in plastic waste, particularly in ghost gear, which affects their movement and food intake, leading to injuries, and spreading disease. Less visible is the harm caused by plastic ingestion because some plastic waste has a similar color and shape to their prey, seabirds, turtles, fish, and whales frequently mistake it for food.
Additionally, floating plastic develops bacteria and algae on its surface, giving it an odor that attracts some marine life. Plastic that has been consumed by animals has the potential to cut internal organs or result in serious intestinal blockages. It can also starve animals to death since a stomach stuffed with plastic gives an animal an idea that it is full.
To prevent plastics and other recyclable items from ending up in the ocean, properly getting rid of them is one of the easiest ways to reduce ocean pollution. Take your trash home with you while you’re in an outside area, such as a park or the beach. We can all contribute to lowering the amount of pollution entering our oceans by making a few small adjustments to our everyday activities.