PLASTIC POLLUTION OF WORLD’S SEAS AND OCEANS
Author: Dinusha Samanmali Rajapaksha
No more time, plastics ready to swallow the whole world. As of today, plastics generate a massive global catastrophe on the Earth. It is dreadfully affected everyone’s life on the Earth and enormously threatens the world’s seas and oceans. It is the broadcast and multifaceted problem which wildlife is being faced. According to the current surveys, the moments of mankind accumulate 12.7 million metric tonsof plastics in the world’s seas and oceans annually. According to the analysis the great Pacific Ocean is named as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and it becomes the most polluted ocean in the world because of the plastic and the Pacific is filled with the 2 trillion pieces of plastics and one-third of plastic can be found from the North Pacific Gyre.
Thousand of animals, sea birds, marine mammals, seaweeds, coral reefs, blue whales and the biodiversity in the ocean are annihilated in plastics. North Pacific Ocean absorbs 12000 – 24000 tons of plastic annually, which causes injuries and kills the animals and it is directly affected the food chain of the marine animals and it is indirectly affected the smaller fish, bigger fish and the humans whoeat seafood.
Sea turtles have mistaken the floating plastics as their foods they feed with plastics which set up the sudden death for them by attacking intestinal injury for them. As well as the contemporary research reveals the plastics on the beech are awkwardly disturbed their reproduction system. Moreover, thousands of sea birds consume plastic ingestions, lessen the size and volume of the stomach, and cause starvation. The current surveys reveal the 60% of sea birds have eaten up the plastic and occur sudden and pitiful deaths, as well as scientists, have estimated the percentage of consuming plastic will 99% in 2050.
Unfortunately, Dead Sea birds are found with stomachs filled withplastics and the percentage of Dead Sea birds has been rapidly increased in the past decade. Marine mammals also highly affected and threatened species on this Earth because of the Earth’s traitor, plastic. Copious plastic pieces have been found in their habitats of the marine mammals; monk seals, sea lion, whales and, etc. Most of the dead bodies of marine animals are perceived with stomachs filled with plastics.
Effects of plastics in wildlife:
Basically, plastic pollution is accumulated of plastic objects and fragments (plastic bottles, polythene bags, microbes and, etc…) on the surface of the Earth and as well as in the seas and the oceans haphazardly. Accumulation of plastic badly affects the biodiversity, environment especially in wildlife, habitats and foodsfor both animals and humans. Plastics can be categorized according to their sizes: macro (large), micro (small) particles of plastic. Plastics are widely spread mostly used objects among humans. People use and produce a lot of plastics because plastics are inexpensive, easy to manage, easy to use and the durability ofproduction but the chemical structure of the plastic is highly affected the ecosystem of the Earth.
Likewise, the long-lasting plastics do not decay and plastics are not good to burn. If plastics burn, it would reduce harmful gasses to the air which indirectly affectsthe health of humans, animals and the environment. As well as humans are unable to manage plastics and now a majority of people are not concerned about this dangerous matter and they never worried about the consequences which can appear on the Earth in the future because the majority of people are seeking temporary wealth and health in present. As of 2018, 380 million tons of plasticsare produced worldwide annually. From the 1950s to 2018, 6.3 billion tons of plastics had been exhibited and 9% of plastics had been recycled and reused,another 12% had been burned. That percentage (12%) also badly affected the atmosphere. The enormous collection of plastic spread all over the land and throw into the seas and oceans carelessly. Some scientists guessed the density of plastic will be more than the density of dishes in the sea in 2050. This situation will createand enhance the harmful alteration of mankind, animals and marine existence.
Source of plastic pollution:
Mainly ocean plastic increased from Cargo ships, 80% of trash come from the land, especially from the urban areas and released to the ocean to protect the land. We protect the land but we destroy another most important ecosystem and the mass producer of Oxygen (O2) for living beings. As well as the food containers and packing by using polythene and plastics are discharged to the ocean to clean up the land premises.
Approximately, 20 % of particles of plasticscontaminate the ocean water and there are international bodies that protect the ecosystem of the ocean and prevent the discharge of plastics to the oceans and seas in the world: IMO (International Maritime Organization) and MARPOL (The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of Ships) play major roles in this task. MARPOL is adopted under the IMO and both international organizations are pledged for the administration of the international conventions and declaration to ban the pollution from ships was established on 2 November 1973 under IMO. The convention includes the rules and regulations that should be followedby ships, those rules include- preventing marine pollution, reducing the marine pollution and imposing strict controls on operational discharges. It includes 6 main annexes to protect the ocean world; regulation for preventing oil (02-Oct-1983), control of pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances (02-Oct-1983), protect the sea life by harmful substances carried by sea in packaged ( 01-July-1992), Prevention of pollution by sewage from ships (27-Set-2003), obstruction of pollution by garbage from ships (31-Dec- 1988) and air pollution from ships (19-May-2005).
The world responsible parties are tried hard to protect the ocean world and the ecosystem of the ocean and sea as well as to protect the marine living beings for the future and to vindicate their habitat, heaven for them. But it is not only their responsibility but also each other human being’s responsibility because we don’t have ‘PLAN’et–B.
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