Under the Ocean has teamed up with Tax the Bag to bring you this post about how plastic pollution – the topic we are both fighting against – affects you… yes, you.
- It ruins the beaches you love
See this photo? That was taken at Manly, and those straws alone were collected in just a 20-minute period. It’s no surprise that Manly’s Shelly beach is actually labeled as New South Wales’s dirtiest beach. It’s not just straws of course, plastic bottles, bags and countless other pieces of plastic litter the sand you lie on and the sea you swim in.
New South Wales
- Dirtiest: Shelly Beach, Manly
- Cleanest: Red Rock Beach, NSW North Coast
- Dirtiest: Cape Arnhem
- Cleanest: Cape Hay
- Dirtiest: Barney Point Beach, Gladstone
- Cleanest: Mackay
- Dirtiest: Border Village (SA)
- Cleanest: Nora Creina
- Dirtiest: East Kangaroo Island (West Gulch)
- Cleanest: Cape Grim
- Dirtiest: Pearse’s Road Beach
- Cleanest: Gibbs Track Beach, Lakes Entrance
- Dirtiest: Ellensbrook Beach
- Cleanest: 80 Mile Beach
If you don’t enjoy lying on a beach covered with plastics, then next time your there, make sure you dispose of all your rubbish properly, and pick up a few extra pieces too if you can!
- It comes back through the food you eat.
Fish in the ocean ingest micro plastics, mistaking it as food. Fish can’t process such plastic particles through their body, and so they remain there. Fish even ingest these particles indirectly, through the consumption of other fish, which have already ingested them. It’s not just the fragments of plastic themselves, but the fish also absorb the toxins the plastic releases. Those fish end up on plates around the world. Essentially, we are eating our own waste.
If you don’t like seafood, don’t think you’ve been spared – micro plastics have been found in salt too. A study conducted at Shanghai’s East China Normal University revealed Chinese samples of salt from various sources contain tiny plastic particles.
- Plastic pollution is threatening your health
As the point above has stated, plastic pollution has made its way into our food chain. Plastic pollution affects human health, humans manage to dump tons of plastic trash into the ocean. Plastic takes thousands of years to decay and break down. Fish and other animals ingest these plastic toxins and as a result these toxins have become part of our food chain. This threatens human health. Broken up plastic act like sponges, they absorb toxins from other sources before entering the ocean. Fish eat these plastic toxins which leads to humans eating them too. Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) contained in some plastics, is a toxic carcinogen. Some other toxins in plastics are linked to cancers, birth defects, immune system problems, and childhood developmental issues.
- Plastics are one of the largest contributors to ocean pollution
Oceans are fundamental to the health of our planet. 97% of Earths water supply is contained in the ocean. 215 metric tons of plastic, such as plastic bags, straws, bottles make their way into the sea in 2010 alone. This plastic pollution is avoidable and does not take much effort. If more people simply started using a reusable canvas or tote bag when shopping or brought a reusable bottle when going out, the amount of plastic pollution in the Ocean would reduce dramatically.
-Katharine and Cindy.
This post was made in collaboration with Tax the bag.
For more from Tax the Bag, check them out!