Source of plastic pollution

Plastic pollution is one of the major threat of planet earth. Globally, our Ocean is polluted by plastics. The plastic waste disposal in rivers, lands and other places will reach into the ocean by land runoff and river runoff or by storm surge. Scientists, researchers and different companies are doing lot of research all over the world to find out a solution for plastic waste removal from ocean. But anyone did not find a solution to complete removal of plastics from Ocean. It is very difficult to remove all plastics from Ocean because the removal of microbeads and microplastics are a big challenge for humans.

 

Some major impacts in Ocean

In  2050, the plastic in ocean will be higher than fishes.

Major ocean gyres are inundated with plastic pollution and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the biggest one. In  2050, the plastic in ocean will be higher than fishes. Billions pounds of plastic waste will enter the ocean every year from coastal inland zones and via rivers and canals. It will be a major threat for organisms living in the ocean, humans and other organisms. In every year, there are lots of seabirds, sea mammals, turtles and fishes were killed in the seas by ingestion of plastics, entangling plastic ropes and nets etc. Turtles are eating plastic covers due to the similar look of jellyfish and plastics. Plastics are lethal for them by feeding or entangled by nets.

Similarly, the seabird population in the plastic polluted areas is declining due to the premature death. The Chicks were also fed plastics by mother birds. These may be lead to the death and reduction in number of birds. Beneath the plastic patches or garbages, the microbeads and microplastics is eating by small marine organisms like planktons and other small crustaceans in seas. It will reach into the next trophic level like benthic organisms and small fishes and they will be food for large fishes, other marine organisms and birds. Finally, it will reach into humans by consumption of seafoods.

 

Some major impacts in humans and terrestrial ecosystem.

It will again return to humans from nature through food chain like a cycle

Really, the plastics in the ocean are starting from humans by plastic production and waste disposal. It will again return to humans from nature through food chain like a cycle. This may be lead to health issues in humans and other organisms or death of organisms. Terrestrial animals and birds are also eating the plastic wastes. It will affect their  health and sometime lead to the death of organisms. The plastic waste disposal in freshwater inland aquatic resources will affect the water quality and biodiversity in a harmful way. The burning of plastics are also dangerous to organisms. It will affect the respiratory organs of humans and causes diseases in lungs or respiratory tracts or allergy etc. Actually, humans are the major reason for the plastic pollution in all ecosystems and organisms.

 

Economical impacts

The plastic pollution will be negatively affecting the fishery potential in the ocean. It will affect the fishery related economy, jobs and food sector. It may be a reason for starvation in some places among the people who depending the seafood for their diet.The plastic pollution is a global problem and a human induced pollution. The humans should control the production, use and waste disposal of plastics for reducing the plastic pollution. For this, the world needs an urgent global unity to improve the health of our ecosystems and its biodiversity.

 

What we can do for control it ?

Remove what is done and produce no more

The removal of plastics from the ocean is an important task. If we collect this plastics from ocean, we must recycle or spoil it in someway. If it is not, it will be again a problem to the environment.  If we use a sustainable waste management in land, it will helpful to avoid the leakage of wastes to the sea or Ocean. Besides these, it needs much awareness among people and children via community, school, business units and different media. This is the time for the global action. Humans need a healthy ocean for food, water and oxygen. Our future generations and other organisms need a healthy environment for a better life on earth.

Dr.Geetha Plackal

Research and Communication in LTEconomy website; Long Term Economy India Chair, Director of Operations India,Green Sahara Project; Social Media Manager, GiftWomenLink Foundation.

Dr.Geetha Plackal has 4 posts and counting. See all posts by Dr.Geetha Plackal

Dr.Geetha Plackal

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