One only needs to take a stroll along any beach and you will immediately see the issues that are facing us. Plastic pollution is fast becoming one of the greatest threats to life in our oceans. Plastic is an incredible product, it is durable, light-weight, versatile and very cheap to produce. For some items it has been revolutionary and not all plastic items are bad, however as our lives became more fast paced and trends turned towards everything being on the go, much of the fast food and catering industry turned to one time use plastic items such as plastic cutlery, cups, bottles and straws.
These single use items now litter the worlds oceans, and are rapidly filling up our land fills. The idea of using a material that lasts for hundreds of years in items that are used for a matter of minutes was the moment of insanity. This was due to convenience and profitability, we became lazy and our oceans and their inhabitants are now paying the price.
· When plastic enters the ocean it slowly breaks down to smaller and smaller pieces. These pieces absorb like sponges any toxins that are found in the water, added to the chemicals that the plastic already carries. Wildlife such as fish eat these small plastic particles.
When a fish for example eats plastic, several things happen. Firstly the plastic fills the stomach with a substance that has no nutritional value. This then fills up the stomach, leaving no room for actual food needed for the fish to survive, the result is starvation. Secondly, the toxic cocktail in the plastic pieces then transfers these toxins into the fishes flesh, which is then consumed by other animals and of course humans.
This can all be reversed with a simple practice of reducing/eliminating the amount of plastic that ends up in the oceans by addressing each item commonly found and replacing with an alternative.