Pollution in seas and oceans is due to the release of polluting waste in the seas. The most commonly launched are herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, detergents, chemicals, hydrocarbons, plastics and wastewater.
These wastes cause a great environmental impact, which in addition to damaging the biodiversity of the oceans and the resources we obtain from those waters, also affects humans.
The garbage found in the seas and oceans is much more than we imagine. According to the journal Science Advances, 4.900 million accumulated tons of solid plastic waste have accumulated.
This is the degradation time of the different materials:
- Organic waste: 4 weeks
- Paper and cardboard: 1 year
- Cigarette butts: 2 years
- Aluminum: 10 years
- Plastic: 150 years
- Glass: 4000 years
Sea pollution causes significant damage to the economy, health and biodiversity.
- Economy: The income generated by tourism can decrease due to bad publicity if a beach is dirty, and money must be invested in cleaning. Products obtained from the sea (such as fish) are also damaged.
- Health: The pollution generated by a dirty beach affects the health of people and the species that live there. For example, plastics contain toxins such as DDT, BPA and other pesticides that adhere to small particles that can be ingested by people or animals.
- Biodiversity: Pollution in seas and oceans causes a serious loss in biodiversity. For example, fishing equipment that is forgotten or thrown into the sea continues to sting and hurt the species that inhabit it. Garbage in general hinders navigation and prevents the correct flow in the life of sea animals and the same substances that can harm the health of humans, also affect marine species
What can we do individually?
- Avoid using plastic bags, replacing them with cloth bags.
- Avoid buying bottled water, use a thermos or reusable bottle that can be washed and refilled.
- Use glass cups and metal cutlery.
- Reuse glass jars.
- Avoid using cosmetic products that include microplastics or feminine hygiene products that are polluting and not reusable.