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Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Photo Credit: Marine Debris NOAA
Today is Earth Day 2018. The theme this year is End Plastic Pollution in response to the exponential growth of plastic waste that now poses a threat to human survival owing to its un-biodegradable nature. When exposed to water, sun, or other elements, our plastic waste breaks down into tiny particles invisible to the naked eye. These particles – called microplastics – now contaminate our drinking water, seafood, or even the salt we add to our meals.
Earth Day Network (EDN) sums up the scope of this threat with the following 10 facts of plastic in our oceans.
Plastic waste floating in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Honduras
Photo Credit: U.K. Daily Mail
Fact #1 – About 8 million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans every year.
Fact #2 – Five massive patches of plastics are growing in the oceans worldwide. The one between California and Hawaii is the size of the state of Texas.
Fact #3 – Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans.
Fact #4 – The amount of plastic in the ocean is set to increase tenfold by 2020.
Fact #5 – By 2050 plastic in the oceans will outweigh the fish.
Fact #6 – Plastic is contaminating remote depths of the ocean.
Fact #7 – Marine organisms and animals are starving to death with undigested plastic in their stomachs.
Fact #8 – Contact with marine plastic increases disease in coral reefs, home to more than 25 percent of marine life.
Fact #9 – The Great Pacific Garbage Patch contains more plastic than natural prey upon which fish feed.
Fact #10 – Many fish humans consume have ingested plastic microfibers. Continue reading