Plastic is one of the most common ocean pollutants on Earth. Every minute, one garbage truck full of plastic is dumped into our oceans and the amount of plastic is set to increase tenfold by 2020. Scientist have estimated that by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish. Unfortunately, plastic in the ocean is a people problem, which means people like us can help stop this harmful pollution. Could you imagine if there was no more ocean? I think we would all agree that plastic makes life more convenient. It saves us time and energy as we are running out of the house for work, school or a day at the beach. We will grab the single use plastic water bottles, plastic sandwich bags and even the plastic shopping bag we vowed to reuse. So what happens to all of this plastic? Its thrown away in garbage cans that will ultimately end up in our landfills or oceans. The EPA estimates that only 12 percent of plastic waste gets recycled. It would be a wonderful thing if all the plastic we used ended up in a recycling facility, however its simply not true. Roughly 80 percent of the single use water bottles end up in a landfill and plastic grocery bags are even worse.
Our oceans produce over half of the oxygen we breathe and contains more than 97 percent of the worlds water supply. The oceans provide us with food, jobs, life, gorgeous beaches and boating. Without our oceans, we cannot survive. The ocean is not only for us to enjoy, but its home to the greatest abundance of life on our planet. There is approximately more than 300,000 different species that live in our oceans and they all play a very important role in our ecosystem. According to the United Nations, at least 800 species worldwide are affected by marine debris and as much as 80 percent of that litter is plastic. Fish, birds, sea turtles and marine mammals can become entangled or ingest this harmful plastic causing drowning, suffocation and starvation. There are some types of plastic that breaks down quicker and into tiny particles, which in turn end up in the seafood we eat. Not only is plastic waste in the ocean disastrous to marine life, it is to humans as well.
Plastic waste in our oceans has become a global crisis. This is an ongoing problem that needs a solution now. All of us together can help reduce the amount of plastic that enters the ocean. Wherever you live, the easiest way to reduce the amount of plastic is to reduce your own single use plastics. Say no to plastic straws, plastic bags, plastic utensils and plastic cups and purchase and carry with you your own version of these single use plastics. Another way you can help is by recycling. Always recycle your single use plastics. This will help eliminate the plastic waste ending up in our oceans and landfills. Support your local organizations who are dedicated to ocean conservation. Volunteer your time at a local organization or a beach cleanup. You can also make a donation whether big or small, every donation helps. Together, we can all do our part and help " Save Our Seas."