Ever wonder how plastic gets in our ocean? Plastic makes its way into the ocean due to human activity. Instead of recycling plastic as we are supposed to, it ends up in the trash can. From the trash can, that plastic goes to a landfill. Because the plastic is so light, it will often fly off and that’s when it starts going into bodies of water and streets.
Plastic affects the ocean because it can kill wildlife, fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. Because of the plastic floating in the ocean, often times animals tend to get tangled in it and die. They also mistake it for food. Sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and often end up choking on them and dying.
Plastic in the ocean has a negative impact on the environment. According to the United Nations Environment, plastic can release toxic effects. Chlorinated plastic can release harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil, which can seep into groundwater or any other surrounding water sources, and also the ecosystem. This is dangerous because it can cause harmful effects to the species who drink water.
There are long term effects of having plastic in the ocean. Some of them can be toxic wastes. This can then affect marine wildlife along with the food chain and any reproductive system failures. It can interrupt the cycle of the coral reefs. And it can also affect human health.
Some of the more short term effects of having plastic in the ocean. Plastic in the ocean can pollute the ocean and any waterways, which then has harmful impacts on the environment and the economy. Many sea life creatures eat plastic and die from choking, blockage in the intestines and starvation.
There are many things the human species can do to help stop plastic from getting into the ocean, or any other body of water. We can reduce our use of Single-Use plastics (think like plastic straws, Saran Wrap, or plastic cups, etc.). We can start to recycle properly or participate in a beach or river cleanup. You can also support any organizations that address plastic pollution problems.