By Zachary DiFonzo
Special to Niagara Frontier Publications
There are many environmental problems we deal with today. However, one of the biggest problems is our ocean pollution crisis. According to www.condorferries.co.uk, 25 trillion macro plastics and 51 trillion micro plastics make up our oceans today.
No matter where you look, everything we use is made out of plastic – and plastic does not decompose. Our industrial technology is advancing fast, causing us to need more plastic than in the past. This leaves us to throw away millions of pounds of plastic into our oceans daily. According to ourworldindata.org we throw away 380 million tons of plastic each year. This only causes devastating problems not just for us, but mainly for our oceanic environment.
In terms of where these plastics come from, according to www.iucn.org, 80% of the plastics come from land and the other 20% come from ocean-based sources, which include fishing equipment.
One of the major problems that is affected by our ocean pollution crisis is the marine life. Every year, thousands of pounds of plastic are being ingested by different marine life species. There are also many different animals like turtles and birds choking on or being entangled by these different plastics, injuring or even killing them.
As bad as the marine life is being affected by these plastics, it is also being brought back onto us. If thousands of fish are consuming these microplastics, then they are being brought into our food chain for whichever person decides to eat seafood.
How You Can Help
However, with this being as big as problem as it is, we are seeing a lot of interest from people in helping to fix this crisis. We are designing different machine technologies and adapting to using different techniques, as well.
The first way you can help solve the problem is by reducing the amount of single-use plastics you use. One of the most popular ones being straws. By using a reusable item instead of a plastic throw-away, you can help stop the problem at its starting point.
“I care about the ocean pollution crisis, and I also believe that my community can help deal with the crisis by cleaning up our beaches and also by reducing, reusing, and recycling the plastics we use,” Christopher DiFonzo said.
Another way you can help the problem is by recycling your plastics. This is another simple method everyone can do to help stop plastics before they even enter the oceans and get them to the proper place.
“Yes, I believe that the ocean pollution crisis is a global problem of the century. There are a lot of things we can do to fix it. First of all, we can require that all cruise ships stop dumping their garbage into the ocean instead of bringing it back to the mainland for proper disposal. Also, by eliminating plastic straws and plastic bags that will be one less worry that could contaminate our water ways and harm the occupants of the ocean,” said Thomas DiFonzo a professor at Niagara University.
Lastly, another way that you can help the cause is by going to your nearest lake beaches, ocean beaches and rivers too help clean them up. There are many different groups that you can join that come together to perform clean ups, which helps stop the spread of these plastics from getting into our ocean’s ecosystems. These groups show that many people do care and that even doing little things like cleaning up your local water areas can help make a greater difference than without.
“Ocean pollution? Do I care about it? Yes, I do care about it the coral reefs are dying and contributes to giving us a lot of oxygen, so we live another day. Any solutions to solve it would be no dumping trash in the ocean or any body of water, getting rid of plastic-related things like plastic bags, six pack rings, or straws and having people actually care instead of littering and making the problem worse,” Sergio Picado said.
The Technology Behind the Cleanup
Besides the ways that we can help, there are different technologies they are creating to help clean up our oceans.
Some of these include of simple nets which are used to help clean up our macro plastics in the ocean. However, we have seen different companies create different machine systems to help clean up our oceans in a more effective and efficient way.
Where We Should Look
Our oceans make up a gigantic part of our world. Which means that it would take a lot of time and effort to cover majority of our oceans. However, it is known that the best places we can target for cleanup are called the garbage patches of the world. These patches are created by the different rotating currents in the oceans sucking them in similar to a vortex.
Our biggest and most well-known garbage patch is the Great Pacific garbage patch. This area containing mostly microplastics is located between California and Hawaii. This is a place that we are targeting because of its concentrated amount of plastic trash. It will make for quicker and more effective progress toward the ocean cleanup.
For More Information
Our global ocean pollution crisis is a problem to be taken seriously. If we continue down the route of dumping millions of plastics each day into our seas, then we are only going to keep killing our environment around us.
Thankfully, though, there are many different ways we can help stop this problem in its tracks even with the simplest ideas of reducing, reusing, and recycling. If we can come together to do these easy tasks, then we can help the people out who are trying to clean up the mess we already have made for ourselves and our marine life.
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