Marine plastic pollution has become one of the most talked about environmental topics of 2018. It is important for us to first recognize what the main source of marine pollution is. Marine pollution comes mainly from land. Nonpoint source pollution is a term used to describe pollution that is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving through the ground while picking up and carrying pollutants, then making its way to the sea. Nonpoint source pollution can make the water unsafe for wildlife and humans. In polluted waters, fish often confuse waste for food. Plastic waste in the ocean attracts and absorbs toxins, which then contaminate the fish eating it. If the fish we eat are exposed to and contaminated by the toxic chemicals in the water, then essentially so are we. A study conducted by scientists at Ghent University showed that fish lovers consume up to 11,000 plastic fragments in their seafood each year. These numbers are alarming, and the exposure of these types of findings has urged many to make smarter environmental decisions.
Preventing marine pollution is vital and there is plenty that can be done! One way of reducing marine pollution is to reduce rubbish. Eighty percent of marine pollution comes from land, therefore reducing waste on land will most likely lead to a reduced amount of waste in the ocean. Rubbish can be reduced by recycling paper, glass, cans, and plastic or by re-using the materials. Organizing beach clean-ups is also an easy way to reduce pollution on our beaches and oceans.
It is safe to say that marine pollution is threatening the well being of the ocean, the marine life, and us. Marine pollution may seem like a problem too big to solve, but we owe it to our planet, the animals inhabiting it, and to ourselves to try. After all, some progress is better than no progress at all.
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Smillie, S. (2017, February 14). From sea to plate: How plastic got into our fish. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/14/sea-to-plate-plastic-got-into-fish
What you can do to reduce marine pollution. (2016, February 08). Retrieved from https://www.mfe.govt.nz/marine/marine-pages-kids/how-you-can-reduce-marine-pollution
Martinko, K. (2018, October 11). Finally, the world is talking about plastic pollution. Retrieved from https://www.treehugger.com/ocean-conservation/finally-world-talking-about-plastic-pollution.html
Basic Information about Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution. (2018, August 10). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/nps/basic-information-about-nonpoint-source-nps-pollution