The Consequences Of Sea Pollution
In early December 2019, a dead sperm whale was found to have 100kg of litter in its stomach. The items found in this compacted mass included rope, nets, plastic bags and cups. They have been linked to both the fishing industry and land waste. Whilst disturbing as an individual case it is, unfortunately, a symptom of a much bigger problem.
Sea pollution is occurring at an alarming rate. It is impossible to know the true scale as so much is discarded into the world's oceans every year. At least 2.7 million tons is estimated to be dumped annually. UK strandings of whales and dolphins have increased in the last decade from 204 to over 930. Research is still being undertaken to determine if sea pollution is a contributing factor.
It is, however, a scientific consensus that litter has disrupted ecosystems and threatened entire species. The health of humans has also been affected by it. If current pollution trends continue the consequences will become even worse for animals and people all over the world.
How Can Pollution Be Reduced?
The biggest issue with modern pollution is not just the scale of it but also the fact that so much is non-biodegradable. This is especially true when it comes to disposable plastic products. When they are thrown or flushed away they end up in the sea. They may take decades or even centuries to break down.
The best solution to the problem is to switch to more sustainable products. There has already been a shift to bamboo straws after the ecological harm caused by plastic ones was publicized. Plastic cutlery is still extensively used in the fast food and takeaway industry. Swapping this with natural cutlery will help to save the planet. It is much more environmentally friendly to use bamboo cutlery as it is biodegradable.