Every minute, a truck filled with plastic waste is tipped into our seas.
It can take up to 100 years for a plastic cup to break down.
When you dive it's not just beautiful bottoms and amazing animals you get to see, hidden under the sea it's more than that.
One serious littering is called ghost nets and is a really big problem in our seas. In all times, man has chosen to dump all kind of things in the sea in the belief "If it´s not visible it does not exist" and the problem is out of the world, at least for the moment! Now we all know that this is not the case and, after generations, it has become a serious problem.
There are many forms of littering. Chemicals, leaking boats, plastics, objects, etc.
A serious littering is what we call ghost nets and is a really big problem in our seas.
It is abandoned fish nets in which it sticks fish, birds, whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals.
These nets are made of nylon and other synthetics and can drift around for years in the sea and cause enormous damage.
It can take up to 600 years for nets and traps to break down when it's made of plastic, meaning it's death traps with a prolonged and painful death with suffocation or starvation for many animals.
The fishing industry loses or leaves approximately 640 000 tonnes of equipment each year in the sea.
(Or 52,000 dubel-decker buses filled with fishing equipment).
Those who fish illegally dump their nets to not be detected.
More than 100,000 animals die or are injured each year because of nets and fishing gear they get stuck in. Documented is the damage to 270 marine species stuck in plastic or ghost nets.
In addition to getting caught in the nets, fishing cages, ropes, etc. you got micro or nanoparticles of the plastic material when the nets starts to break down. These particles the sea creatures believe is plankton and they eat the plastic, which in turn are eaten by other larger animals and somewhere in the chain it is eaten by us humans, which makes the plastic follow along throughout the food chain.
Microplastics have become a huge problem. ... there is also the slightly more invisible primary microplastic found in cosmetics, detergents, personal care products. That is washed off and goes straight out into our waters.
Eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans every year. Every minute, a stuffed truck with plastic waste is dumped into the sea.
Only 14% of the world's plastic is recycled today and 46% in Sweden are recycled from plastic packaging.
It doesn't just get dirty in the oceans, the animals think it's food.
It is difficult for a turtle, for example, to tell the difference between a small plastic bag and a jellyfish.
The result is devastating when animals eat plastic and rubbish. It will be a slow and painful death because plastic can not be broken down in the stomach. Dead whales with up to 40 kg of plastic have been found in their stomachs.
(Source: SVT – News 20 November 2018) In the stomach of a dead sperm whale in Indonesia, it was found: 115 plastic cups, 4 plastic bottles, 2 flipflops, 25 plastic bags, 19 pieces of hard plastic and 3 kilos of plastic wire.
According to a report, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia currently account for 60% of the plastic debris found in the oceans.
Debris that sticks so the animals get deformations and deformities fatally or that causes them to starve.
In several parts of the world there are huge swaths of plastic in the water. In the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii there is a plastic vortex larger than the state of Texas.
Plastic swirls are found in several places on earth where plastic gather togheter from different countries.
If you look at how long it takes for different materials to break down, you also understand the seriousness of garbage ending up in the water and nature where animals eat the dangerous waste.
We can help to dispose our garbage in bins but also with opting out of products with plastic against items that are used more than once to reduce waste. If you see debris in nature pick with you and throw in the right place, if everyone takes a little here and there it will be a lot together.
sources and photos:
World animal protection
Gran Canaria - Arguineguin
Ghost net and plastic...
Romme Alpin- Borlänge