15 Jul 2019 - Each year, we expose the world’s waterways to an increasing variety of pollutants — plastic debris, chemical runoff, crude oil and more.
Fortunately, it’s not too late to clean up our act. Conservation International shares the dirty truth about ocean pollution and how to make a difference.
Oil spills aren't the big(gest) problem.
Headline-grabbing oil spills account for just 12 percent of the oil in our oceans. Three times as much oil is carried out to sea via runoff from our roads, rivers and drainpipes.
More plastic than fish.
Eight million metric tons: That’s how much plastic we dump into the oceans each year. That’s about 17.6 billion pounds — or the equivalent of nearly 57,000 blue whales — every single year. By 2050, ocean plastic will outweigh all of the ocean’s fish.
5 garbage patches.
There’s so much junk at sea, the debris has formed giant garbage patches. There are five of them around the world, and the largest — the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — includes an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of trash and covers an area twice the size of Texas.
Plastic poses a double danger.
Ocean trash can be broken into smaller pieces — known as microplastic — by sun exposure and wave action, after which it can find its way into the food chain. When it eventually degrades (which takes 400 years for most plastic), the process releases chemicals that further contaminate the sea.
CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.conservation.org/stories/Pages/Ocean-Pollution-11-Facts-You-Need-to-Know.aspx