MARINE DEBRIS

MARINE DEBRIS

The litter, which is not disposed properly, ends up in the ocean called Marine debris. People often throw trash on beaches or some may carried into the ocean by means of drains, canals, sewages, and river. Anything which pollutes the oceans and does not biodegrade is considered as marine debris.

Marine debris can be as big as a drowned-ship or as small as a microbe. It includes plastics, glass, metals, rubber, paper, textiles, vessels, and other lost or discarded items. Fishing gear is a type of marine debris that is harmful to sea life. Discarded fishing lines and nets continue to trap fish, along with marine mammals, turtles, and birds.

Most of the marine trash is plastic. Plastic constitutes 70% of marine debris. We find plastic everywhere from the depth of the ocean to its surface. We find plastic trash of different shapes and sizes ranging from plastic water bottles to tiny microbes. Plastic is very harmful for marine species as it does not biodegrade easily. A study shows that most of the sea animals contain some plastic in their stomach or wrapped around their bodies. A marine study of Georgia estimated that around 8million metric tons of plastic trash enters the ocean every year. The five most common plastic trashes found in the international coastal cleanup are food wrapper, plastic cigarette bottoms, plastic bottles, their caps, and plastic straws.

Microbes, tiny plastic spheres presents in many exploiting scrub is also a type of marine debris. These microbes can cause a great danger to marine species. Because these small particles are made up of plastic; therefore, they do not decompose and biodegrade. A study shows that these microbes can make up to 80 tons of plastic in the water per year. Because of their small size, they easily find their way to the sewage and subsequently reach into the ocean. These microbes, though small, have severe harmful effects on marine life. Small fishes and other marine species might mistake these beads for food. Ingesting undigested food, consequently, produces poisonous chemicals or can chock up the intestine of these organisms which can lead to death.  Moreover, these tiny balls act like sponges which soak up toxin and increase the concentration of toxic chemicals of the sea water. The increased toxin concentration will affect the sea live and from them it will pass on to human as well.

If we dispose plastic properly or reduce the use of plastic items then it can bring a significant change. Recycling is the most effective way to reduce trash. The everyday use of plastic must be examined and the way of disposing it must be considered. Reduction of disposable plastic by every single person can result in the reduction of plastic marine debris.

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