Plastics are said to outnumber the marine species in the ocean several years from now. This is how ubiquitous plastics are. However, it is not just about the number and their ubiquity, but also how destructive they can be in the environment as a whole.
Several ways have been done to ensure that the waste we throw is thrown properly. Concord dumpster rental and other waste disposal-related services make sure that the waste from residential and commercial spaces is properly and safely disposed of. Individuals, governments, and communities know so well that the more plastics we use, the worse the environment becomes, and that we all have a role to play.
Images of plastics and microplastics found in animals’ stomachs, especially marine ones, can be somewhat emotive. In fact, posts containing such images are always viral on the Internet. For instance, albatross chicks were found to have plastics in their stomach when Chris Jordan, a photographer, was able to shoot some photos. Another instance was represented by footage of a dead whale whose stomachs were flooded with different kinds of plastics.
Certainly, it is a known fact that plastics take hundreds and thousands of years to decay. More importantly, they can cause harm to humans and marine life in three ways. First, plastics can cause physical harm when aquatic animals accidentally eat plastics or when the plastic gets entangled with their body parts. For instance, in the case of turtles getting their body entangled with plastics causing deformities as they grow is also known to be rampant anywhere. Second, chemical harm is potential to occur because plastics are synthetically made by humans. It has a toxic nature since chemical additives are put when producing and manufacturing any kind of plastics. Third and last, biological harm can also happen when microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses hitch-hike on plastics, spreading in different parts of the ocean and harming different kinds of species.
There are many effects of plastic pollution in the ocean and the scale of the issue is also alarming. Scientists and researchers are still currently finding plastic even from surfaces to the deepest parts of the ocean. Since the 1950s, the number of plastics that have been produced accounts for 8.3 billion tons and the number is still increasing since 2005, where plastic has become relevant for different industries. It is believed that the number of plastics produced annually will be 1.8 billion by 2050.
The following are more evidence of plastic harm:
- There is strong evidence of mortality in seabirds and turtles caused by ingesting microplastic.
- There is a continuous accumulation of organic pollutants used in producing plastic including toxins chemicals like PBDEs and PCBs.
- Plastic effectively transports microorganisms not native to a certain body of water. As a result, corals and other species get sick and die.
- Deaths of marine species caused by chemicals and physical injury caused by plastics are causing imbalance to the food chain and ecosystem.
There is still a lot to learn about plastics’ impact on the environment. However, a more aggressive action is also needed to at least minimize the destruction.