Where do our plastics come from and how do they affect the ocean?
Large version here: OWOO_PlasticsBreakdown
Thanks to One World One Ocean for this great graphic, showing the (mainly northern hemisphere-related) ways plastic enter our ocean and how they affect sea life. I’m deliberately saying ‘ocean’ as they do because the global “oceans” are really one interconnected body of water (some of the seas are separate but usually have oceanic outlets).
We recently received printed shirts at university, with a logo on the back and motto of “All the water there will ever be, is“.
It’s easy to substitute plastic in there as well and that shows only the start of the problem: those scientists or home inventors who came up with the first early variants of plastic and the companies who pumped it out through their factories, didn’t consider how we were supposed to get rid of it. Recycling sounds like a solution for some plastic forms but it’s impossible to recycle the microscopic scraps of plastic floating around in the ocean.
It’s encouraging even in a small town like Warrnambool to see sustainability signs around and painted logos near drains, warning people not to drop rubbish in them. But it will take a serious, global effort to significantly reduce plastic production and use before we can really say the tide is turning on this problem.