An Epidemic - a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time. There is no question that the situation we are in NOW in regards with plastic, that we cannot call this an EPIDEMIC. Although plastic itself is not defined as a disease, it is causing detrimental affects on natural organisms and beings. And even with plastics not being classified as a disease studies have now shown that the plastics in our oceans and on our beaches have the ability to carry a specific bacterial disease that is harmful for all natural organisms from micro-organisms all the way to the top of the food chains in humans.
The Plastic Epidemic
It is now too common that we see full beaches being covered in large islands of plastic. This isn't happening in just one place, this is happening all over the world from areas where it is more likely to happen due to that tidal currents that flow around the world but it has now got to a stage where the most remote areas in the world, smaller banks of plastic have washed up on beaches. Just think, if this is what is happening on the top of the water and after studies have shown that over time plastic become less and less buoyant, think about the amount of plastics that are flowing around under the water.
Facts about Plastics in our Oceans:
1. 8million metric tonnes of plastics are entering our oceans every single year.
It has been shown that this will dramatically continually increase to a point where in 2050 there will be more parts of plastic in the ocean than fish.
2. 230,000tonnes a year of Micro-plastics are entering our oceans.
Micro-plastics are any plastic that is smaller than the size of your fingernail. What is worse, is that at this size fish think that this is food and then they ingest these parts.
3. The ocean clean up team carried out a recent study on Sea Turtle's and Albatross' diets in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and found:
- Sea Turtle's diet = 62.5% Plastic components and 37.5% natural food
- Albatross' diet = 45% Plastic components and 55% natural food
1% is too much as it is NOT NATURAL
4. Plastic has been found 11.03km down
The Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the ocean, has been recorded to have had plastic components. That is 11,034 meters down, at that point there is 1,000 times more pressure than atmospheric pressure showing how durable plastics are and how they will never biodegrade and this epidemic needs to be tackled now.
5. Plastics kill coral
It has been proven that when coral reefs come in to contact with plastic it has an 89% chance of becoming diseased in turn killing the coral and destroying homes to 25% of the whole oceans marine life.
6. Plastics cause starvation in animals and marine life
There has been a recent BBC documentary called "Drowning in Plastic" and one part of the documentary was based in Lord Howe Island, an small remote island in the middle of the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand. A species of bird have been on the decline because they cannot distinguish the difference between food and plastic. When ingesting plastic, it obviously does not digest, then in turn blocks the passage of food and unfortunately causes the birds to die.
7. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is 3 x The size of France
This is just the largest of the 5 main garbage patches around the world. How can there be patches of islands of plastics just floating around the currents of the oceans!!!
THREE TIMES THE SIZE OF FRANCE