Use of plastic is a part and parcel of modern life .Because of the non-biodegradable nature, plastic garbage create hazards both on the surface and water in seas and oceans .Habitants of oceans are endangered due to the plastic pollution. Moreover the tiny plastic particle in the marine food chain also raises the question of human health and also food security. UN Environment Assembly took a resolution on Dec.2017 to eliminate plastic pollution in our seas Selectans oceans. A ‘’ clean sea campaign ‘’ has already been launched to clear ‘ great pacific Garbage Patch ‘’.Many more has to be done.
In modern civilisation plastic plays a key role in everybody’s life . It finds use in every facts of life starting from plastic bags, household materials , auto-mobiles , clothes, furniture to aircraft ,space craft, biomedical, surgical equipments ;because plastics are sustainable , unaffected by acid and alkalis , also remain unaffected in the nature. Industrial production of plastic started on 1950 and since then it gained momentum every year . Estimated amount of plastic in world in a couple of years ago was about 8.3 billion tons of which about 6.3 billion tons were turned into plastic wastes creating tremendous environmental hazards both on the surface and seas and oceans of our planet.
How are ocean polluted by plastic?
The annual amount of plastic thrown to oceans is about 8 million tons. If it goes at the present rate , it has been estimated that there will be more amount of plastic by weight in the oceans than the total amount of fish , in the year 2050 . Only 5% of the plastic debris float on the ocean and the rest 95% submerged in water up to a depth of 11 km from the surface. plastic trash has been also found both in the Artic and the Antartic . Apart from the synthetic large sized plastic materials , there are billions of tiny pieces of plastic called microbeeds which are added to the products take tooth paste , face wash , cleaner, abrasives etc. These microbeeds are so tiny that they can easily pass through water filtration and sewage treatment . Micro plastics also come from synthetic fabrics washed in washing machine, table salts and also from tap water. A very recent study established the presence of plastic fibres in 80% of water samples collected from five continent of the world.
Plastic in the ocean has a large adverse effect on ocean wild life and habitants. Plastic materials under sea water are not biodegradable but over the years they break down into tiny particles called ‘’ micro plastic’’ . The habitants of the ocean often are unable to distinguish between the micro plastic and their normal food. So they consume plastic which are in-degradable . So from coral reefs smothered in bags to turtle gagging on straws to whales and sea-birds starve and ultimately face death as their biles are so jumped that they can not consume normal food. Very recently it has been revealed that the possible long-term impacts of tiny plastic particles on the marine food chain ultimately have an adverse effect on human health and food security.
The plastic is concentrated by ocean current in fire areas of the world called ‘’ ocean garbage patches’’,the largest of which is the ‘’great pacific garbage patch’’ between Hawaii and California. The plastic in these patches will remain untreated in it. However on the basis of UN Environmental resolution Dec 7 , 2017 a massive option has been launched on pacific ocean to clear the plastic debris under the ‘’ clean sea campaign’’ . Many governments pledged to join the clean sea programme , As marine products will get more and more importance in the future ,the human civilisation will heavily depend on the plastic garbage free seas and oceans.
1. U N Environment Assembly resolution Dec-2017.
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