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With a global population of 7 billion people, it’s no surprise that the world’s oceans are overloaded with trash. A new report from Project Kaisei estimates 150 million tons of trash in our oceans. The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is one of the most well-known areas where waste accumulates. It has been claimed that this area is twice the size of Texas. However, there are many other areas where trash collects and affects marine life populations. To help reduce this impact on marine life, many countries have enacted policies to prevent more plastic from reaching our oceans. These include bans on single-use plastic items such as straws and plastic bags, taxes on products with excessive packaging, and bans on certain fishing nets. Read more about how you can help reduce ocean pollution here!
Introducing the Trash Issue
The world is overpopulated with 7 billion people, which has led to an increase in trash. One of the most well-known areas where this trash accumulates in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” This area is twice the size of Texas and sits in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. However, many other areas throughout the world have increased amounts of trash that are affecting marine life populations. To reduce this impact on marine life, many countries have enacted policies to prevent more plastic from reaching our oceans. These include bans on single-use plastic items such as straws and plastic bags, taxes on products with excessive packaging, and bans on certain fishing nets.
Trash In The Oceans
The situation is not improving. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch has grown to twice the size of Texas and continues to grow at an alarming rate. People use approximately 13 billion straws each year in the United States alone, with only 2 per cent of them being recycled. Meanwhile, over 30 million tons of plastic enter our oceans each year, mostly from land-based sources like littering or runoff from farms. Plastic pollution damages ecosystems and kills millions of animals a year. Plastic also takes centuries to break down naturally, meaning that a plastic bag you used this morning will still be around in a thousand years.
A recent study found that 60% of seabirds have ingested plastic, and it’s been shown to cause weight loss and fill up their stomachs with non-food items, causing them to starve to death as their digestive system prevents them from eating anything else. In other words: it’s not safe for humans to eat those shrimp from the back either!
In order to help reduce this impact on marine life, many countries have enacted policies to prevent more plastic from reaching our oceans. These include bans on single-use plastic items such as straws, bans on certain types of fishing nets, taxation on products with excessive packaging, and bans on products made with microbeads – tiny pieces of plastics often found in cosmetics that are too small for water filtration systems designed for sewage treatment plants and end up polluting the water table instead.
What You Can Do to Help
1. Reduce your use of disposable plastics:
– Avoid single-use items such as straws, plastic bags and coffee cups
– Keep a reusable water bottle handy
2. Tackle the Trash:
– Choose products with less packaging or with recycling symbols
– Support companies that have environmentally friendly policies
Cleaning up your own trash
The best way for you to help is by cleaning up your trash. You don’t have to wait for a policy change or ban that will affect your life personally. Instead, take the initiative and clean up your own mess! It might appear to be a little advance, yet at the same it’s a significant one.
If you go to the beach on Earth Day or any other day, pick up trash on the sand and throw it away. If you see someone littering in public, ask them to throw their trash away in a proper container. If there are no garbage containers nearby, offer someone a small bag from your stash of reusable grocery bags. The little things you do every day can add up and make a massive difference for our planet.
Recycling and Reducing Waste
Recycling and reducing waste are good for the environment. We know that recycling is an essential part of living sustainably, but it’s also essential to reduce the amount of waste we produce in the first place.
When it comes to sustainability, the trash you produce can make or break your efforts. You can make a difference by recycling, reducing waste, and picking up after yourself. There are plenty of ways to be mindful of the environment without having to compromise your quality of life.