Nets, Plastic, Underwater Crime – How To Stop Ocean Pollution
Plastic waste makes up 80% of all marine pollution and an estimated 8-10 million metric tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year. If current trends continue, by 2050, plastic is expected to outweigh all fish in the sea. In just the last decade, humanity produced more plastic than it did in the last century. In most supermarkets, fruit and vegetables are wrapped in single-use plastic packaging, but every piece of single-use plastic takes between 500 -1,000 years to degrade. And when it degrades, it does not decompose, it becomes microplastics which are poisonous to animals and humans. One of the most harmful types of marine plastic debris is abandoned, lost, discarded fishing gear. About 640 thousand tons of fishing equipment get dumped into the ocean each year, not only entrapping marine life, according to researchers from the WUN Global Research Group, “there is chemical contamination with disruptive effects on marine species. As a result, human health is also impacted, with marine litter serving as a vehicle for diseases that contaminate the food chain. Ocean plastic removal initiatives range from The Ocean Clean up, which aims to remove 90% of the plastic in the ocean both by scaling solutions to remove debris from the ocean and to intercept plastic in rivers before it reaches the ocean. 1% of the world’s rivers - 1,000 rivers - are responsible for 80% of the plastic that flows into the oceans, so stopping plastic trash has to start with cleaning up rivers.