Ocean pollution affects more than 817 animal species around the world, a figure that has increased by 23% in the last 5 years alone. Plastic is one of the most common causes of ocean pollution, but it’s not the only thing harming our seas. There are several tangible steps you can take to help reduce ocean pollution today. Read these 30 BIZZARE facts.
Causes of Ocean Pollution
The majority of the waste we produce on land eventually reaches the oceans, whether intentionally or not — and there are various ways by which this happens.
- Ocean mining
- Oil spills
- Agricultural runoff
- Toxic chemicals
- Air pollutants
- Maritime transportation
Ocean Pollution Facts
If you, I, and those around the world are to preserve our oceans, drastic measures have to be takеn to combat this pollution.
Below are some astounding facts that demonstrate the size and severity of the issue, and why the solution relies on the small, everyday actions of individuals and business owners around the world – including you.
30 Bizzare facts about ocean plastic pollution:
1: Plastics are the most common element found in the ocean today.
Plastic, in particular, is harmful to the environment as it does not break down easily and is often mistaken as food by marine animals.
2: 18 billion pounds of plastic trash winds up in our oceans each year.
To put that in perspective, it’s enough trash to cover every foot of coastline around the world with five full trash bags of plastic…compounding every year.
3: The 5 most common items found in coastal cleanups around the world are all single-use plastics.
They are: plastic cigarette butts, food wrappers, plastic beverage bottles, plastic bottle caps, and plastic straws and drink stirrers.
4: There are 25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean.
Of that, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea.
5: 80% of trash in the ocean is from land-based sources
Including individuals, industry and improper waste management/infrastructure. Only 20% is the result of ocean-based sources, such as the fishing, shipping, and cruise ship industries.
6: Plastics cause more than 80% of the negative effects on animals associated with ocean trash.
7: There is an island of garbage twice the size of Texas inside the Pacific Ocean
The North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California is the largest oceanic garbage site in the entire world. It’s here that the number of floating plastic pieces in the water outnumbers total marine life six to one in the immediate vicinity.
9: ocean pollution is more common in deep waters (more than 2,000 feet deep), with the most common offenders being plastic bags, metal cans, fishing equipment, glass bottles, shoes, and tires.
10: Research estimates anywhere from 15 to 51 trillion particles of floating micro plastic are in our oceans, weighing between 205-520 million pounds.
This includes plastic microbeads (used as exfoliates in some personal care products) and synthetic fibers, both of which are too small to be filtered out by many waste water treatment plants.