Trash in Our Oceans
Citation: Parker, Laura. "Ocean Trash: 5.25 Trillion Pieces and Counting, but Big Questions Remain." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 09 Jan. 2015. Web. 02 Feb. 2015.
A recent study was set up to find out how much trash is actually floating around in our Earth’s oceans. The final number should be shocking to anybody; there currently is 5.25 billion pieces of trash laying in or on the oceans in the world. An estimated 269,000 tons of trash are floating on the surface of the ocean, while 4 billion tons is estimated to be at the bottom. There are studies being conducted daily to finally figure out where the majority of this trash is coming from and how to put an end to literally trash the oceans. The trash not only contaminates the water and washes up on the beaches around the world, but it also contributes to the loss of many different ecosystems and species that live in the ocean. Plastic bottles and cans kill millions of fish daily; larger animals as well. Not only this, but it contaminates drinking water around the world. People in developing nations such as Africa and India rely on water from rivers and oceans to survive; many of these water spots are too polluted with trash for use. One study reported that 33% of plastics used globally are discarded and not recycled properly after use.
This situation obviously forms a huge ethical issue. Why are people using the ocean as a landfill for their trash? Also, it is unjust for the organisms and ecosystems that have to suffer because of the actions by humans dumping in the ocean. The ethical principal of precaution should be used in this situation by realizing that dumping plastics and other wastes in our ocean waters is illegal and unjust. There are alternative places where this waste can go where there aren’t currently organisms trying to live their lives.
I personally believe that we need to enact legislation globally to begin a large scale ocean clean up. Along with this, there needs to be stricter enforcement on laws against dumping waste into the oceans; there are better and greener places to dump waste. The most ethical thing to do realize many ocean creatures lives are endangered because of trash in the ocean and stop using the ocean as our trash bin for good. What steps do you think should be taken to help solve the trash in our oceans problem?