Top Items Polluting the Environment
Our planet is facing unprecedented problems. In particular, large water bodies such as lakes and oceans are becoming swamped by unwanted products.
Although the push to reverse this situation has gained momentum in the past few years, a lot needs to be done. If people stopped producing or using certain items, then the deterioration of our oceans will dramatically reduce. Consequently, here are the top items polluting our oceans.
The main item that makes up the largest percentage of pollutants is cigarettes. Data shows that there are more than 10 million cigarettes in the oceans. These items will travel into gutters and drains before ending up in our oceans. Unfortunately, some birds and animals will think that cigarette butts are food. Once they ingest them, they may face health issues.
There are millions of containers and food wrappers in the ocean. These are the primary sources of plastic waste in our oceans. Additionally, the majority of these products don’t rot. As a result, they will spend thousands of years on the ocean floors. Once in a while, one of them will be consumed by a fish or any other sea animals. It is not uncommon to find animals choking on food wrappers and containers.
Despite the rising number of campaigns aimed at reducing the use of plastic bottles, experts believe that the number of beverage bottles will increase throughout this decade. More than one million bottles are purchased each day. A huge chunk of those bottles ends up on the ocean floor. It is widely believed that the weight of plastic bottles in the oceans will be greater than the weight of all the fish in the oceans by 2050.
Although several countries have banned the use of plastic bags, their production numbers remain at a dangerous level. When they end up in the ocean, they cause problems to sea animals. Some will entangle fish and choke them to death.
Bottle caps are another cause of pollution in our environment. Because of their tiny size, they can be ingested by fish and birds. Some of them may get stuck in the animal’s airways. Others may get stuck in the stomach and cause a lot of pain. Similarly, some of these caps may be inhabited by bacteria, which may cause more problems to the animals.
Spoons, Knives, Forks, Plates, and Cups
Cutlery and other types of utensils are abundant in the ocean. These are non-biodegradable items that can stay for thousands of years in the ocean. Sharp knives and other objects can injure or cut fish in the ocean.
Straws are being pushed out of the way in many countries, but it may be too little too late. There are millions, if not billions, of plastic straws lying on the ocean floor. Consequently,
the government and the general public must take decisive actions to remove this trash from the ocean floor.
Plastic bags are small items, and this can be a problem if they end up on the ocean floor. Marine animals will mistake them for a meal and ingest them. Environmental activists are proposing that zipper bags and sandwich bags should be abandoned in favor of containers. Alternatively, manufacturers can use reusable items when they are manufacturing food wrappers.
Plastic Grocery Bags
Perhaps the most common type of pollutant is plastic grocery bags. After decades of persistent lobbying, a majority of governments in the world have banned plastic grocery bags, but they still remain an epidemic.
It has been proven that sea turtles think that floating plastic bags are jellyfish. Consequently, they try to eat them, and they get choked in the process. If you want to join the fight against plastic grocery bags, you can purchase reusable grocery bags to use every time you go out to buy groceries.
Plastic lids can be small, but they may be a menace on the ocean floor. Millions of people deposit plastic lids into the environment each day. For example, you may have just purchased a drink at your nearest cafe. This time, instead of asking for a lid to cover the drink, you can request the barista not to use the lid. Alternatively, you can purchase a reusable cup to use for coffee purchases.
Most plastic takeout containers are not reusable. Once the food that they were carrying is consumed, the containers are usually discarded away. After some time, these plastic containers find their way into the ocean. Here, they will break apart over a long period of time.
The smaller pieces can be dangerous because sea animals will think they are tiny bits of food. If the animals ingest the microplastics, they will suffer from blockages and contamination. Moreover, some of these plastic containers have poisonous chemicals.
You can join the fight against plastic takeaways by purchasing a food container. Each time you go out to purchase a meal, you can use a reusable container instead of the normal plastic takeout.
Stirrers are small items that can cause extensive damage to wildlife and sea life. Scientists believe they are more dangerous than most types of plastic because they are extremely small and can break down into microplastics. Moreover, because of the small size, most recyclers don’t accept them.
The solution here is to go for a reusable stirrer made from things such as bamboo or stainless steel. Thankfully, many of them come with a carrying case, and you can clean them easily.
Before you grab that quick snack from McDonald’s, you should consider the impact on the environment. If that food wrapper is made from plastic, you are endangering sea animals.
Instead, you should request restaurants to use reusable food rubbers that are biodegradable. Another solution is to buy pellet smokers and smoker grills to prepare an excellent barbecue and get value for your dollar.
We only have one planet, and we must take care of it with extreme seriousness. Consequently, we must invest a lot or a lot in fighting climate change. You can use these tips to avoid items that will destroy our planet.