Jacques Cousteau; a French undersea explorer and researcher once said, ‘Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.’ Many of the plastics humans use in their daily life most likely will be used and thrown away carelessly. Today pounds of plastic can be found swirling around the ocean, making up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surface.
Researchers at Ocean Conservatory say, ‘So much plastic is ending up in the ocean that in just a few years, we might end up with a pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish in the sea.
’ From the tiniest sea creature to the largest whale plastic impacts almost 700 species in several oceans. Humans just now began to see major consequences of plastic pollution and how it affects all living things. For example, most people have seen the video of the sea turtle with the straw in its nose and felt bad but continued to throw trash in the ocean.
The ocean is an important role for life on earth, the ocean provides more than 70 % of oxygen living things breath and over 97 % of the worlds’ water supply. Day by day the ocean is being drowned in natural resources and manmade pollutions. Beaches have turned into trash landfills; plastic pollution impacts the human economy by spending on beach cleanups, tourism losses, and aquatic industries. So plastic pollution not only affects wildlife, it also affects the human race. The future of the ocean is in the humans’ hands.
‘Each and every animal on earth has as much right to be here as you and me,’ an Author named Anthony Douglas William said. Sea animals like sea turtles, a variety of fish, and seabirds often mistake Plastic for food. As a result, research has proven that plastic has been found in more than 60% of seabirds, and 100% of sea turtles. When these sea animals eat the plastic it’s hard for them to digest the material so, the plastic can cause health problems.
Like blocking the digestive system. According to an article by the One Green Planet, millions of marine birds’ species dies from plastic pollution. But the Laysan Albatross has been the most impacted by the plastic in the ocean. When the Albatross dives into the ocean for food; they open their beak to catch the food also picking up plastic material along the way. Whales entangled in thrown away fishing gear can have a slow and painful death. ‘There’s no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.’ (Annie Leonard)
Of course, plastic in the ocean affects the several species of fish but unlike the other animals I previously presented; fish is the main the main animal that is eaten by humans. Several studies show that fish humans eat have digested plastic microfibers, like, perch, cisco, and brown trout. Lead, cadmium, and mercury have been often found in fishes, these toxins can cause cancer, birth defects, immune systems problems, and childhood development issues. There are different types of plastic but the most common one is BPA (Bisphenol). BPA is used in things such as plastic bottles and food packaging materials. But over time BPA breaks down into really small pieces and can enter a human’s body; from drinking contaminated water to eating toxin filled fish. Humans are exposed to chemicals from plastic through air, dust, water, food, and use of consumer products. ‘I want my food dead. Not sick, dying, dead. (Oscar Wilde)
As far as defending humans from being contaminated, the only answer is to stop eating fish or any other sea animal. Another thing is to be responsible for the trash we throw away; also try to avoid buying products packaged in plastic but if so recycle the plastic. When a person goes to the store ask for a paper bag other than a plastic bag. In our homes, we can create ways to decrease personal waste. Make sure to use a reusable water bottle for all your drinking needs to stop extra garbage. To keep chemicals from getting into the ocean, house owners should keep their house drains clean.
Our habit as humans to be careless about cleaning up after ourselves is hurting the planet earth. We endanger many marine animals and contaminated our own species. The problem is we don’t how this bad this issue is until its publicly hurting the entire world.