Stop using our oceans as a dumping ground.
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Plastics in our oceans are having a drastic effect on sea life. Colourful bits of plastic are being ingested by sea birds, fish and mammals. Microparticles from plastics which have broken down are ingested by plankton. This man made indigestible material has found its way into the ocean’s food chain.
To view a video by CNN of how plastics are ingested by birds, and litter shores far from civilization see:
Source of the problem: throw away plastics!
We use plastics in just about everything, from simple utensils like plastic spoons and straws to furniture, cables, wiring, insulation, pipes and thousands of other applications.
The list is endless and growing.
One very wasteful form of plastic is as containers for consumable goods, such as, food, water and drinks. It is known as food grade plastics or high-density polyethylene. (HDPE) It does not degrade easily and is resistant to chemicals. This makes it suitable for hot and cold food, preserved food, water, soft drinks and fruit juice.
Used once it is thrown away.
What happens in the sea affects all of us.
The half life of plastics is estimated to be 500 to 800 years.
So plastics will continue to accumulate but will gradually be broken into smaller and smaller fragments until micro-sized. They could float on the surface of the ocean or just below the surface for centuries. To the human eye, it is an invisible problem, we cannot readily see the micro-particles floating in the ocean. Plankton, however, can and do ingest these particles. Plankton are the base of the entire oceanic food chain.
How much plastic ends up in the sea?
According to the World Watch Institute, 299 million tons of plastic were produced worldwide in 2013. They have estimated that 20 million tons of plastics a year end up in the world's oceans.
- Legislate that containers for plastics be biodegradable.
- Fund the development of plastics that are truly biodegradable in seawater.
- Convince municipalities to ban plastic knives, spoons and utensils.
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