Next Global Crises after Ozone: Plastic kills Ocean

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Plastic is now found “in the smallest plankton up to the largest whale. The world must work together to tackle plastic ocean threat” -WWF-

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Plastic now can be found in all parts of the ocean and it is now found “in the smallest plankton up to the largest whale” wildlife group WWF says by urging an immediate global response to reverse the disaster asap.

Do you want evidence in Person?

This guy is a scientist. He got one of the rare opportunities to reach beyond 10,000 metres below sea level. There are lots of people who have ever been to outer space more than people who pass the 10,000 metres level to the deepest part of the sea. The sad part of the story: He could see plastic even in that dark deep untouched part of the sea.

Let’s back to the story…

Tiny pieces of plastic have reached even the most remote and seemingly-pristine points of the planet: Even in the Arctic Ice ecosystem and inside the Mariana Trench inhabitants deep-sea fish.

We do not have an international agreement in place to address the problem as the entire planet. In February 2022, the United Nations environment Summit which is scheduled to happen in Nairobi expect to launch an address on the plastic issue.

WWF has presented 2,000 separate scientific researches and studies on the impacts of plastic pollution on the oceans and its biodiversity as well as entire marine ecosystems.

The worst part is the report acknowledged that there is currently insufficient evidence to estimate the potential repercussions on humans.

WWF report further says that some estimates are suggesting that 19 and 23 million tons of plastic waste may be washed into the world’s waterways every year…

Single-use plastics is the largest concern, which is still responsible for more than 60% of total estimated marine pollution, despite the worldwide nations are trying to ban them in certain ways.

Dubai city and UAE has an update on that. Click here to read

“In many places (we are) reaching some kind of saturation point for marine ecosystems, where we’re approaching levels that pose a significant threat,” said Eirik Lindebjerg, Global Plastics Policy Manager at WWF.

In some places there is a risk of “ecosystem collapse”, he said.

Many people are concerned after seeing those viral images of seabirds choking on plastic straws or turtles wrapped in discarded fishing nets, but the danger is across the entire marine food chain: he said.

It “will affect not only the whale and the seal and the turtle, but huge fish stocks and the animals that depend on those”, he added.

In one 2021 study, 386 fish species were found to have ingested plastic, out of 555 tested.

Separate research, looking at the major commercially fished species, found up to 30 per cent of cod in a sample caught in the North Sea had microplastics in their stomach.

Once in the water, the plastic begins to degrade, becoming smaller and smaller until it is a “nano plastic”, invisible to the naked eye.

So even if all plastic pollution stopped completely, the volume of microplastics in the oceans could still double by 2050.

But plastic production continues to rise, potentially doubling by 2040, according to projections cited by WWF, with ocean plastic pollution expected to triple during the same period.

Enduring the rising risk

Photo by 7inchs from Pexels

Lindebjerg compares the situation to the climate crisis — and the concept of a “carbon budget”, that caps the maximum amount of CO2 that can be released into the atmosphere before a global warming cap is exceeded.

“There is a limit to how much plastic pollution our marine ecosystems can absorb,” he said.

Those limits have already been reached for microplastics in several parts of the world, according to WWF, particularly in the Mediterranean, the Yellow and East China Seas (between China, Taiwan and the Korean Peninsula) and in the Arctic sea ice.

“We need to treat it as a fixed system that doesn’t absorb plastic, and that’s why we need to go towards zero emissions, zero pollution as fast as possible,” said Lindebjerg.

These matters will be pulled out at the Nairobi summit.

It wants any treaty to lead to global standards of production and real “recyclability”.

Trying to clean up the oceans is “extremely difficult and extremely expensive”, Lindebjerg said, adding that it was better on all metrics not to pollute in the first place.

Source: AFP

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