Ocean pollution – are we eating our own rubbish?

My contribution to World Oceans Day 2014.

Ocean of Garbage
Created by: MastersDegree.net

Thanks to MastersDegree.net for sending me this fantastic infographic, “Oceans of garbage – are we eating our own trash?”, which I think shows us some shocking figures about how we are polluting the marine environment with rubbish such as nappies (or diapers) and plastic bottles. I’m amazed and saddened that lightbulbs and applicances are found in our oceans and seas. It’s interesting to see that this isn’t only an environmental problem but also means seafood and fish consumers could be having a little something extra with their meals as we contaminate our food web with non-biodegrdable plastic.

The plastic we pollute our oceans with  also affects other marine wildlife. It’s well-documented that cetaceans such as whales, dolphins and porpoises accidentally eat plastic bags. A Cuvier’s beaked whale found dead on a beach in the Isle of Mull, Scotland in 2008 was found to have 23 plastic bags or fragments of bag in its stomach, some were large dustbin liners, others the sort handed out by supermarkets. Cuvier’s beaked whales are a species which keeps away from the coast yet our rubbish is travelling far out across the oceans. Plastic waste in the oceans kills around 100,000 whales, dolphins, seals, turtles and other large animals each year. Approximately, one million seabirds die from strangulation, choking or starvation after eating plastic rubbish they find floating on the sea.

Our oceans aren’t bins so it’s time we started treating them with more care!


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