You don't have to be a Buddhist to grasp the concept of connectivity. We're all linked and therefore plastic in the ocean off South America eventually has an impact in Australia. Not only that, but the way humankind has treated the ocean like a bottomless garbage tip – filling it with plastic pollution – is now crossing environments and affecting life on dry land too.
Four Big Reasons Why Plastic Waste In The Ocean Matters
- Every year, we lose millions of marine animals as a direct result of plastic pollution in the ocean. Beautiful creatures like whales, turtles and birds (and some not-so-pretty ones like dugongs) all gone due to entanglement, ingestion and poisoning.
- Being atop of the food chain is a good thing, except when everything you eat starts feeding on plastic pollution in the ocean. Scientists have already found microplastics in over 100 marine species, many of which end up on our dinner plates. The jury's still out on the long-term effects this'll have on our health, but it's not looking great.
- While developed countries like Australia have government services to deal with waste (and businesses with clever ideas) a lot of remote paradises don't and are being trashed by plastic waste in the ocean. That tropical island you've always dreamt about visiting? Yeah, its perfect white sand beach is now completely bunged up with plastic crap.
- All this adds up to economic losses for major industries like fisheries and tourism. So even cold-hearted capitalists, who couldn't care less about the environment, can see there's a cost on the balance sheet from plastic waste in the ocean.
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