Impact of Plastic in the Ocean Environment

Plastic waste in the Ocean is associated with the Global economy that is the backbone of the Globe and the cost estimated is around the US $ 8 billion. This cost includes beach cleanup, coastal strips, touristic losses due to litters, or repairing the ships damaged by nets.

Researchers say that more plastic is found in the stomach of dead marine animals. They suffer from an intestinal injury that destroys their stomach and starves to death. In addition to seabirds, plastic waste of the oceans has a negative impact on marine animals, fish, and turtles. For example, the leatherback turtles, mainly feed on jellyfish, often leading to confusing plastic bags that are floating with their food that result in a painful death.

One of the major problems is 'bioaccumulation'. It refers to the accumulation of waste in micro concentrations in smaller animals and through the food chain, consumed by larger animals causing toxicity. Toxins in plastic here could be hydrocarbons, heavy metals like mercury and cadmium or Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) released from oils. When planktons, algae, crustaceans are eaten by smaller fish followed by predation by larger fish and whales, this toxic substance ends up in the food of humans. Plastic waste has also a bad impact on endangered sensitive ecosystems such as coral reefs and mangroves.


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