Essay about Plastic and the Ocean



It is one of the worst global issues, however, rarely acknowledged at all. It is plastic pollution. Plastic pollution is affecting the world at large. To this date, it is a compelling issue in society but is being disregarded as it continues to have horrible effects on the environment, the economy and marine life. Even more than that, plastic pollution has a massive economic impact. Besides, plastic pollution is also having an impact on climate change. Overall, plastic pollution continues to harm marine life, the economy, and climate change and must be banned immediately. 

As plastic pollution is continuing to happen, it is creating problems for marine life. Plastic in the ocean harms and leads to the death of many sea species. The United Nations states that “at least 800 species worldwide are affected by marine debris that majority of it is plastic ''.  Plastic pollution has physical impacts on marine life. The physical impact of plastic pollution on marine life is entangled. Plastic gets sea lions to suffocate in the ocean and die. Another physical impact plastic pollution has on marine life is ingestion. Sea turtles and seabirds mistakenly ingest plastic for food which leads to their deaths as well. Another physical impact plastic pollution has on marine life is starvation. As these sea creatures ingest plastic for food, it takes up room in their stomachs which later on results in starvation and leads to their deaths as well. Besides, the impact on sea creatures has a direct impact on humans as well. Humans eat the sea creatures who have already eaten plastic from the ocean. Humans consuming plastic contaminated seafood can affect health in so many negative ways. It can affect Endocrine Disruption. Plastic may be an endocrine disruptor, which means that it can change the way the endocrine system and the hormones it controls behave due to ingesting the plastic into the body. Another is that it can affect Thyroid Damage. Exposure to plastic may damage the thyroid. The thyroid regulates several important functions and plays a role in controlling hormones that affect fertility. It can destroy the body. Many of the sea creatures in the ocean are eating plastics, and as a result, when humans eat those sea creatures, they ingest plastic in their bodies as well leading to poor outcomes.  Overall, humans and sea creatures are in danger due to plastic pollution being in the ocean. Along with plastic pollution affecting marine life, it also has a significant economic impact. 

In addition to plastic pollution affecting marine life, it also affects the economy at large. Plastic pollution costs 13 billion dollars in economic damage to marine ecosystems every year. It affects fisheries, shipping, and also tourism. Fishing is an industry that is run economically since it makes a lot of money catching fish from the ocean and selling it. By plastic coming into the ocean, it is affecting fisheries significantly. Plastic in the ocean is estimated to cost Scottish fishing vessels millions of dollars per year due to lost earnings from cleaning fish nets, cost of repairs to nets, the value of the dumped catch, and also the cost of incidents occurring during fishing. Fisheries lose a lot of revenue because of plastic in the ocean. In addition to fisheries, tourism is also a big economic industry as it makes millions of dollars a year from people visiting. Due to plastic pollution, it is losing millions of dollars in revenue. Plastic is found on beaches and in oceans, and as a result, damages the aesthetic value of tourist destinations, leading to decreased tourism-related incomes and major economic costs related to the cleaning and maintenance of the sites. As a result, the economy is at stake because plastic pollution is affecting major economic industries. Besides plastic pollution having a significant impact on the economy, it is also a massive contributor to climate change. 

Plastic pollution also has a significant impact on climate change. It has so many negative impacts on climate change. Plastic pollution is affecting the world by releasing greenhouse gases. This is a dangerous issue. “Sarah-Jeanne Royer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography has found that low-density polyethylene releases greenhouse gases as it breaks down in the environment.”