In the second episode of Earth Unscrewed we learn about the apocalyptic twin of climate change - ocean plastics.
In this eye opening episode we're alerted to alarming statistics about ocean plastic proliferation and learn how we can all change our plastic consumption habits.
Here are some key take-aways from the second Earth Unscrewed episode: Eradicating the Ocean Plastic Plague
1. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. Also known as the ‘Pacific trash vortex’ the GPGP covers an estimated surface area of 1.6 million square kilometres, an area twice the size of Texas or three times the size of France. The mass of the plastic in the GPGP has been recently estimated to be approximately 80,000 tonnes – this weight is equivalent to that of 500 Jumbo Jets!
2. Plastic pollution can now be found on every beach in the world
From busy tourist beaches, to uninhabited, tropical islands, nowhere is safe. Every day approximately eight million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans, causing 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and one million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually.
3. No more excuses – stop using single use plastics
Out of all of the waste materials that the RAW Foundation surveyed (as they travelled down from Cairo to Cape Town) 95 per cent was plastic – and of the 95 per cent, 98 per cent was single use.
4. By 2050 there is going to be more plastic (by weight) than fish in the sea
Thanks to our human addiction to quick and convenient items, such as plastic bottles, bags, food packages, and single-use drinking straws – all of which end up finding their way to the seas in staggering numbers – hundreds of marine species are threatened with extinction due to ingestion, entanglement, and pollution.
While this outlook appears incredibly bleak, we still have time to reverse some of the damage that has been done, and save our oceans before it’s too late. Visit the Surfers Against Sewage website to learn what you can do to help.