A World Submerged in Plastic

 “Tutublue is not just swimwear, we are a team of people who are passionate about saving our worlds ocean and the aquatic life that call it home.”

 How Single Use Plastics are Destroying Our Ocean

It is estimated that our oceans contain five trillion pieces of plastic, and the findings of divers show that 89% of all that plastic come from single-use plastic articles (plastic bags and bottles, for example). This plastic waste is building up at an alarming rate, and it is no exaggeration to say that single use plastics are destroying our oceans. Read on and discover how this is happening, and why aquatic conservation is urgently required to save our oceans and humanity.

 aquatic life

Garbage Concentrations in Sections of Ocean

As plastics accumulate in the oceans, ocean currents, such as gyres, trap these plastics and deposit tons of this waste in different patches across our oceans. The most glaring example of such an accumulation is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch found just off the California coast. These garbage concentrations disrupt the bio-geographical cycle of oceans, resulting in numerous problems as shown below.

Entangled Turtle

Entrapment of Aquatic Life

Perhaps one of the most powerful rallying points for aquatic conservation efforts are images of sea turtles and other sea life trapped in “ghost nets”. Ghost Nets, put simply, are fishing nets that have either been lost or tossed overboard by fisherman. This not only contributes to the waste in our oceans, but also can entangle aquatic life, which unfortunately may lead to death from starvation or suffocation. Plastic trash affects all types of sea life regardless of size. As more single use plastic ends up in our oceans, the scale of this entrapment will only increase and some aquatic species will be pushed beyond the brink of extinction.


Ingestion of plastic

Death By Ingestion

The entrapment described above results in a slow, and painful death for the unsuspecting aquatic creature, but many that aren’t entrapped also die after ingesting micro and large pieces of plastic that make there way into our oceans.

For example, a dead sperm whale washed up on the Spanish coast in 2018 and when it was cut up, researchers were shocked to find 64lbs of plastic in its stomach. These included nets, a jerry can and plastic bags. Such needless deaths occur among all species of ocean life and they make a strong case for the need of strong conservation efforts.

ghost net

Hormones in Disarray

Research shows that plastics act as endocrine disruptors. To cut out the science talk, this basically means synthetic chemicals commonly found in plastics and other products can in a way mimic hormones which will negatively effect animals.

For example, when orcas that were expected to be in their reproductive prime were tested, scientists found that the chemicals, found in the plastics that these creatures ingested caused the orcas to be reproductively stunted. The bodies of the orcas were mature, but their hormones were stuck at the juvenile stage.

Unfortunately, this problem not only affects aquatic life but may also trickle up to the humans who consume fish and other marine food.

 

Summing it up…

We made plastic, but we have now reached a point where we are drowning in it. Through a need for quick and easy products, we’re slowly but surely limiting growth for not just aquatic species, but species across the globe.

 

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