The waste we generate every day doesn’t just disappear. Whether you put it in the bin, throw it away, or leave it behind after a day out – it sticks around. The rate of recycling in the UK is approximately 44%, which is poor compared to other countries such as Germany, where the rate of recycling sits at ~66%.
Rubbish finds its way into our oceans via a number of ways such as: sewage waste; lost fishing equipment; litter left at beaches; poor managed waste facilities near water sources and; general litter dropped in towns and cities. Because of this, it’s been discovered that plastic makes up 60%-90% of marine debris.
Plastic bottles can survive in the ocean for approximately 450 years, slowly breaking down into smaller pieces, eventually leaving microscopic pieces of plastic floating in our oceans. This plastic is dangerous to marine wildlife who often ingest plastic accidentally, or mistaking it for food. Not only does this kill and injure wildlife – but can go on to affect humans due to the seafood we eat being contaminated with plastic.
Plastic pollution is a huge problem and it is not going to disappear without active change in society’s attitudes towards single-use plastic and towards disposing of rubbish appropriately. Change must happen to protect our oceans and save our sea-life from a life of suffering.
Image courtesy of: https://www.sas.org.uk/our-work/plastic-pollution/plastic-pollution-facts-figures/