Plastic, the plague that haunts our marvelous oceans. Plastic makes up the majority of marine debris seen floating in the ocean or on the shorelines, especially because it is very durable and costs little to nothing to produce. Plastic is also not biodegradable, in fact, it photo degrades. With exposure from the sun’s radiation, it is continually broken down into smaller and smaller, eventually microscopic pieces. These microscopic pieces are then transported and converged in the ocean where currents meet, which can keep the floating trash traveling constantly in gyres.
Miniscule bits of plastic are then consumed by fish, in consequence causing indigestion. If these poor animals do not die beforehand, they are then captured and are consumed by us. Not only is fish poisoned with mercury, but with the rise of plastic waste in the ocean, a lot of people are eating fish contaminated with plastic.
Every day, it saddens me to see and pick up so many plastic bags and bottles while diving. I’ve come across several fish with hooks in their mouths attached to a broken fishing line swimming in circles. Plastic fishing nets or ghost nets filled with crabs and dead marine animals. My hands are overflowing with waste every time I come up from a dive. And if that’s not bad enough, I’ve recently learnt that even in our everyday items such as face wash, body wash and even toothpaste, contains tiny micro beads that gets washed down the drain into the ocean. They are so tiny, that there is absolutely no way to get rid of it.
You can do your part. It is very easy to cut down on plastic in your daily lives; all it takes is a little motivation to do so. For example, not buying plastic bottled products and carrying your own reusable shopping bags. These little things can make a big difference.
PHOTO COURTESY – RYAN DORIN