From the plastic straw from your McDonalds milkshake to the crisp packet that you threw away after lunch, we all use plastic in our day to day lives and it hard to escape it. Plastic is one of the main pollutions in the ocean, but it isn’t the only one.
Fossil fuels like oil don’t only pollute the air but our oceans as well, oil tankers may have accidents and spillages but 35% of oil pollution come from cities oil usage.
Fertilizers and pesticide can also cause ocean pollution, this happens when rain pushes these chemicals towards the ocean.
Plastic is the biggest mass of pollution found in our oceans with more than 8 million tons of plastic ending up in our ocean a year it is a serious rising concern.
(picture used from “bbc.com”)
As we can see from this graph the 8 million tons of plastic, we through away each year will be around for approximately 20 more generations to come. That is the same as someone in the Victorian era throwing away a plastic water bottle and it still being around now and for many more years. So why do we use plastic then? Plastic is cheap, readily available and we can throw it away. We use plastic because it’s a temporary convenience, but it causes more harm than good.
As I have previously written about, fossil fuels such as oil is polluting the ocean when they spill or during accidents or just by the general usage of oil. They also cause problems for animal habitats and our coral reef system, wearing sun cream in water around coral damages it so that gives us an idea of the damage an oil spill will do to the coral. When our coral reefs are damaged or killed it impacts the ecological system and economy especially in Australia as they make approximately $6.4 billion from tourists visiting and diving in the Great Barrier Reef per year.
Fertilizers and pesticides
When fertilizers and pesticides are used the excess will run into rivers which ultimately lands in the ocean. As well as polluting our oceans they, like fossil fuel, cause problems for our marine life. They can cause mutations especially in marine life such as fish, where the poor creature may have 2 heads or lose of limbs etc. These fish are effected by ocean pollution and they are also the ones that we eat which could effectively result in our health problems. It can also kill marine creature which also happened with oil and if they ingest plastic or waste.
what can we do?
Although our oceans are facing many challenges, we can make a different an many ways we can do this are very simple but if everyone starts doing this it will make an impact.
We can start by recycling. This will help to reduce plastic waste as we are reusing the original plastic so that we don’t need to continue making more.
Reusable water bottle. Buying a reusable water bottle also helps reduce plastic because your water bottle can be used many times unlike the plastic one that can be used once and takes 450 years to biodegrade.
Solar panelling. By using solar panels, we are reducing oil and the less oil we use the less we need which means we will decrease the number of spillages while also finding a sustainable source.
Electric cars. Electric cars is something that over the years we will be finding more and more of. Although this will not completely solve oil problems with a mixture if both solar panels and electric cars the demand for oil will decrease and therefore so will oil pollution in our oceans.
To summarise my article ocean pollution is a high rising concern that won’t solve itself. It effects the economy, the ecological system, marine life, our health and so much more! By changing very simple things in our lives we can help solve this problem, it wont change overnight but we must act fast. This is the only planet we will get so we have to look after it. Thank you for reading my article.
I found my information from my article on these websites: