Trash in Our Oceans

Brooks Allen

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.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/15...

Summary:

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.


Ethical Issue:

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.


Position:

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?

Comment Stream

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2 years ago
0

I think the first step for scientists should be to find some kind of way to clean up this trash on a huge scale. It is also extremely important for people to be careful where they put there trash because dumping it in a river could lead to the ocean eventually.

2 years ago
0

I think we shld stop thedestructon of it and passlaws to prevent them from dumping

2 years ago
0

I agree with the large scale cleanup and things need to be put in place so that people don't dump their trash irresponsibly.

2 years ago
0

There should be legislation in place by the govern,emts of the world that imposes a fine on littering in the ocean (just as there already are fines in several countries for littering on streets, etc).

2 years ago
0

Routine beach cleanup is a very good way of keeping trash off our shores.

2 years ago
0

We should somehow clean up the trash that is already in the ocean while simultaneously preventing more trash from entering it. Cleaning oceans will be an expensive project and needs to be an international collaborative effort.

2 years ago
0

I think our first step needs to be to stop adding to the problem, once we stop adding then we can start cleaning up the ocean

2 years ago
0

We need to create a new system that would prevent dumping the trash into the ocean. Also we need to remove the trash that is currently there and dispose of it in a better, more environmentally friendly way.

2 years ago
0

We need to have large scale group ocean cleanups funded by big corporations or the government.

2 years ago
0

We need to start cleaning up the trash that is already there, and we need to not make the problem any worse.