Oceans remains some of the most significant mysteries to the human race. Other than the recreational benefits they bring to us, oceans are home to millions of lives. You might see the ocean in your country as a vast source of water, but below the surface, there are tons of living organism that need to be protected at all costs.
These water bodies are highly vulnerable to many things, but the worst of all is the human touch. We have millions of industries around the world that direct their waste into these water sources, thinking that they are driving away the waste to save the human life. This is a tradition we should fight at all costs since it’s not only making our holiday destinations hazardous, but they are contributing to the suffering of marine life at a terrifying rate.
Is there any proven statistics confirming that our waste is costing the marine life? Yes, the numbers are shocking!
According to research, over 820 species of animals are affected by ocean pollution, and the number is expected to grow even higher if we do not stop disposing our waste into the ocean.
Ocean dumping; the practice that is wiping out human civilization
There are some causes of ocean pollution including;
- Oil Spills
- Maritime transportation
- Air pollution
- Chemicals and,
- Agricultural runoff
However, some of these causes can occur unwillingly, and we can give humans a benefit of doubt. However, think about this – factories, tankers, ships, and even residential premises are today directing all their waste to the oceans. Most of the materials disposed of contain dangerous substances including cryolite and mercury that pose a significant threat to marine life. If this is allowed to continue, then we shall have all the oceans for ourselves since no marine life will be left, and we might also bring life on earth to a sudden end since we shall also fall prey to our actions.
How exactly is our waste disposal affecting marine life?
Water pollution and how it affects marine life has become one of the most talked about topics across the world. There is a significant concern that most plants and animals are becoming extinct, not because we are consuming them at an alarming rate or poaching them for their body parts, but because we are disposing harmful waste directly into their living space, making it hard for them to reach their various life expectancies. As an experienced waste solution provider, GT Skips investigated that inappropriate waste disposal costs the marine life in the following ways.
1. Millions of sea mammals, fish, and birds die every year due to ingestion of plastic waste
Over 100 million metric tonnes of plastic are produced every year. A devastating fact is that over 10 million metric tonnes of this end up into our oceans. This doesn’t mean that the factories dispose of them there – but we do this every day through littering. At times, you will throw plastic waste into a river near you, not knowing that it will be channeled into the ocean in no time, and kill birds and mammals in their millions.
Plastics might also end up in the oceans when they are blown from a landfill. Fish, birds, and sea mammals take advantage of the free dinner – something that often results in fatal effects.
2. Chemicals from waste are killing marine life
Most of the products we use today are made of chemicals. These chemicals don’t die when we dispose of the products but creates damage, not only to the environment but also to marine life. When they get into the ocean, they are ingested by living organisms leading to death.
Some chemicals can introduce fertilizers in water which will destroy the existing nutrient systems; thus causing a massive growth of algae which contain hazardous toxins that lead to depletion of oxygen in the water, which will sooner or later result into the extinction of many sea plants and animals.
3. Acid rain introduces aluminium into oceans, destroying marine life
If you thought that acid rain only comes as a result of industries, then you are dead wrong.
Most of the products we dispose of contain fossil fuels. In case they are released into the atmosphere, the chemicals in them mix with water and form an acidic compound. This has adverse effects on the marine ecosystem. It releases a lot of aluminium into the ocean which alters the PH levels; therefore killing many organisms.
Eventually, the ecosystem becomes highly imbalanced, and even the organisms with the highest immunity become threatened.
Choose to recycle
Do you want to protect the environment? Are you willing to take a step that will save the marine life? Choose to recycle!
What is recycling?
Even before you jump into the many benefits of recycling, it is critical to for you to understand what recycling is. This is the process of converting waste into a reusable product. For example, you can buy water in plastic bottles. After you finish with them, you can take them to a water company for reuse, or you can take them to another company that produces bottles. Better still, you can use them to package other products.
When you choose to recycle, you will be saving the marine life in the following ways;
- The chemicals and the greenhouse gases that are produced by wastes and later find their way into oceans will be reduced, which means marine life will continue thriving
- Ocean pollution that comes as a result of improper waste disposal will be highly reduced, meaning the oxygen levels in water will not be altered. This will improve the quality of life enjoyed by sea plants and animals.
- When you recycle your waste, you will be reducing the use of fossil fuels in the production of new products, which means less acid rain, unaltered PH levels, and blossoming marine life.
The effects our waste has on marine life are too intense, and they require more than just reading this post. You need to do something that sea organisms could thank you for if they had the opportunity. This is the best you can do;
- Reduce the use of potentially harmful products
- Recycle your waste
- Collect any litter you come across
- Keep the rivers and streams near you clean
And finally, educate everyone around you on the importance of marine life, and why carefully disposing of waste can help improve this life.