World Oceans Day was first proposed during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and has become a way for the world to raise awareness around the crucial role the ocean plays in our everyday lives.

This year, World Oceans Day focuses its attention on the “scourge of plastic pollution” in our oceans. This theme is prompted by the massive amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans.

The effects of your plastic have a harmful impact on the environment, especially the ocean, as it takes decades to break down and is often considered food by marine animals.

This is how plastic affects the ocean:

– Over 100 000 marine animals die each year as a result of plastic entanglement and ingestion.

– Plastic is the most common type of pollution found in the ocean, as at least 8-million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean each year.

– There are dead zones in the oceans that have been created by pollution. Any form of life in those zones are impossible for marine or plant life to thrive. The Gulf Of Mexico is an example of one.

– Plastic debris can absorb toxic chemicals from ocean pollution, therefore poisoning marine life that consume it. In fact, plastic pollution is one of the most serious threats to the ocean. Plastic does not degrade; instead, it breaks down into progressively smaller pieces, but never disappears. They then attract more debris. Overall, plastic is the number one source of pollution in the ocean.

– Annually approximately 500-billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than 1-million bags are used every minute.

– Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic globally than during the whole of the last century.

– The process of producing bottled water requires around six times as much water per bottle as there is in the container itself.

– Certain chemicals in plastic trick fish into thinking that it is food, as the smell of the chemicals trick the mind of the fish into it’s foraging instincts.

Picture: Pixabay

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She enjoys reading the works of Stephen King, and exploring the beauty of Cape Town and its surrounds.